I'm an Indiana landlord with a difficult tenant. I've given the tenant the proper Indiana termination notice, but he still won't leave. What next? What is the Indiana eviction process?
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If you are an Indiana landlord and have tried to get your tenant to leave with no success, your next step is to file an eviction complaint. You will have to go to your county's Superior Court (small claims division) and see if they have a form for a "complaint of eviction." Usually the court will have something you can fill out. When that is filed, your tenant will be served with the complaint and the date of the hearing. Keep in mind that it may be better for you if the issue you have with the tenant can be resolved without going through the eviction process. Filing a small claim in Indiana can cost between $40 and $90.
At the hearing, you and your tenant will both present your sides of the argument and any evidence you may have. At this time, the court will decide whether the tenant should have to leave the apartment. If you are not satisfied with the judgment, you can appeal the decision to the Indiana Court of Appeals within 30 days.
If you decide to appeal (or your tenant does), you should get a lawyer, as the appeals process is very complicated. There will also usually be a second hearing where the court will determine what the tenant owes you in terms of court fees and costs related to the tenancy (e.g. owed rent). It is very important to remember that you cannot physically remove your tenant yourself. The court will order the sheriff to remove the tenant, probably within 48 hours of the hearing.
If at any time you think you are in over your head, you can always seek the advice and counsel of an Indiana evictions attorney.