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By Abbey Orzech
Updated on Jun 24, 2022
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff, Staff Editor.
Indiana landlords can evict tenants for several reasons. Depending on the lease terms and the reason for eviction, tenants could see zero to 90 days of notice before they’re required to quit the property.
The United States sees nearly one million completed evictions annually. With the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still hanging over us, that number is likely growing. Many people struggle to make ends meet each month, so all renters need to know the eviction laws in their state.
So Jerry, the super app that saves homeowners, renters, and car owners money on their insurance rates, has created this guide on the need-to-knows of Indiana’s eviction process. We’ll talk about why you can get evicted, how long the process takes, and ways to protect yourself from unlawful eviction
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Indiana eviction 101: three ways you can be evicted
Indiana state law lists several different reasons landlords can file for eviction, but one factor remains the same no matter what: a landlord cannot evict a tenant without going through the court system. And in most cases, landlords must provide a written notice to the tenant before they can file the eviction lawsuit.
The causes of eviction in Indiana break down into three main types:
- Failure to pay rent: Rent in Indiana is considered late one day after its due date. The landlord must provide 10 days of notice before filing for eviction.
- Violation of lease: The landlord must allow a “reasonable” amount of time for the tenant to fix or correct the issue before filing for eviction.
- Illegal activity: The amount of notice a tenant must be given depends on the severity of the activity. No notice is required for tenants that intentionally damaged or vandalized the property or for tenants involved in any prostitution activity. Tenants involved in drug activity will receive 45 days of notice.
It is illegal for landlords to evict you during your lease period if their reason for eviction cannot fall under one of the groups above. It is, however, legal for landlords to not renew your lease at the end of your lease term. If you are considered a holdover tenant or didn’t have a lease agreement, your landlord is still required to give you notice.
The amount of notice your landlord must give will depend on the type of your tenancy:
- Month-to-month leases or rental agreements require 30 days’ notice.
- Year-to-year leases or rental agreements require 90 days’ notice.
Landlords give tenants notice periods to either fix the issue or quit the property. After the notice period expires and no acceptable attempts to remedy the problem have been made, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit.
Regardless of the reason for eviction, landlords cannot personally evict you. It is illegal for landlords to lock you out, shut off essential services, or perform other similar actions to prevent you from inhabiting the property.
However, if your landlord takes you to eviction court and wins, you must vacate the property in the given amount of time. If you stay past that date, a sheriff will come to forcibly remove you.
Key Takeaway It is illegal for Indiana landlords to evict tenants personally. Instead, they must prove to a court that a tenant is guilty of a lawful reason for eviction.
A timeline of eviction in Indiana
The overall process of eviction in Indiana can take between three weeks and four months. The timeline varies depending on the reason for eviction and the court holding the eviction hearing. Here’s an overview of the whole eviction process in Indiana:
|Step||How long it typically takes||What to expect|
|Written notice from landlord||10-90 days||A written notice that gives you a timeline for fixing the issue or leaving the property before your landlord will file for eviction.|
|Summons and Complaint||5-20 days||If the notice period expires, your landlord may file a complaint to the appropriate court. The court will then schedule a hearing.|
|Court hearing and judgment||3-20 days||A judicial court will hear the case and make a ruling.|
|Writ of execution issued||Few hours to a few days||You will receive a final notice to leave the property and remove your belongings before law enforcement arrives.|
|Possession of property returned||48-72 hours||Depending on the reason for eviction, you could have hours to leave. If you stay past the date on write, a sheriff will forcibly remove you.|
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The eviction process can move swiftly or it may drag out, depending on the reason for eviction and the court system your case goes through. Knowing where you are in that process will help you get a stronger foothold and prepare your case.
It is a good idea to seek legal advice, gather any evidence that can show your good tenancy or your landlord’s negligence, and show up to the court hearing. If you’re not present at your hearing, the court will likely default favor to your landlord.
How to resist eviction in Indiana
Indiana tenants have rights, and it helps to become familiar with them just in case you find yourself in this situation. Know that if you get served an eviction notice, it's not an immediately hopeless situation. You can fight against the eviction in a few ways:
- Address the cause of the eviction: This should be the first course of action you consider when you receive a notice of eviction. Try to fix any damages or borrow money for rent so you can stay in your home.
- Point out a procedural mistake: There are certain procedures Indiana landlords must follow for a lawful eviction. If you catch your landlord straying from them, your case may be dismissed. Take note of any instance of lock changing, utility shut-offs, or improper notice.
- Argue that the landlord failed to maintain the property: Sometimes the damages your landlord is complaining about are due to their own negligence. Keep a record of ignored maintenance requests or other instances of landlord negligence.
- Call out discrimination: Both Indiana state law and Federal law make it illegal for your landlord to evict you on the basis of discrimination. If you suspect your eviction has to due with your race, religion, sex, gender, national origin, or disability, your case may be dismissed.
Use these defenses to strengthen your case or form your own case against your landlord for unlawful eviction.
How to save money on Indiana car and renters insurance
Today’s cost of living anywhere in the United States is high, and nonpayment of rent is one of the most common reasons renters get evicted.
To help you save money and time where you can, Jerry, the super app for homeowners, renters, and car owners, makes it easy to shop for an insurance policy with great coverage—one that won’t break the bank.
It’s this simple: download the Jerry app or go to getjerry.com. In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from top insurance companies and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one upon request.
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