Understanding the Landlord and Tenant Relationship

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The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC has represented several landlords and tenants in both residential and commercial disputes. This article will highlight some key features of the landlord and tenant relationship in the residential context.

Under Indiana law, a tenant has the right to a habitable home. Prior to move in, the rental unit must be up to housing code standards.

What are the rights and obligations of the parties during the tenancy?

During occupancy, the landlord must keep the electric, heating, ventilation, plumbing and sanitary system in good working order. On a similar note, the tenant must use the water and electric systems in a reasonable manner.

The tenant must follow the rules and regulations of the lease. A landlord can enter the rental unit, but must give reasonable notice and do so at a reasonable time. Most landlords give 24-hour notice and enter during normal business hours.

When must the security deposit be returned?

Within 45 days of the termination of the lease, the landlord must send the tenant a letter either returning the security deposit or giving an itemized list of any deductions claimed. To ensure timely delivery of this letter, the tenant should provide a forwarding address to the landlord upon moving out.

How does an eviction work?

The landlord has the right to terminate tenancy and pursue an eviction case for tenants who do not pay rent or violate a lease term. The landlord must provide a 10 day written notice for eviction for non-payment of rent. In Indiana, the eviction procedure varies by county. In Tippecanoe County, an eviction hearing usually occurs within 2 weeks of the filing of the eviction complaint in Small Claims Court. If the Judge finds for the landlord, the tenant typically has 7 to 10 days to vacate. If the tenant then still will not vacate, the Sheriff can help. If there are damages to the premises once the tenant vacates, the landlord can request the Court set a damages hearing.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC has represented several landlords and tenants. Shannon drafts and reviews leases, handles eviction and damage hearings, and handles collections. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.