Indiana Eviction Process

Indiana Eviction Process

Last Updated: August 17, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

Steps of the eviction process in Indiana:

  1. Landlord serves tenant written notice.
  2. Landlord files complaint with court (if unresolved).
  3. Court serves tenant with summons & complaint.
  4. Court holds hearing and issues judgment.
  5. Writ of execution is issued.
  6. Possession of property is returned to landlord.

Evicting a tenant in Indiana can take around three weeks to four months, depending on the eviction type, and which type of court the hearing is held in.

Questions? To chat with an Indiana eviction attorney, click here

Grounds for an Eviction in Indiana

In Indiana, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms, or illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 10 Days Yes
End of / No Lease 1 Month No
Lease Violation “Reasonable” Yes
Committing Waste None No

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In Indiana, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give 10 days’  notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. If the tenant does neither after that time, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Indiana the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days) or exceptions for weekends or court-observed holidays.

Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In Indiana, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (1 month for tenants that pay month-to-month).

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities

In Indiana, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities under Indiana landlord-tenant law. In all lease violation instances, the tenant is allowed to fix (“cure”) the issue to avoid removal.

If a lease violation is committed, the landlord must give “reasonable” notice. If the tenant does not fix the issue, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Tenant responsibilities include:

  • Keeping the living space free from hazard and garbage.
  • Maintaining appliances and keep them in working order.
  • Using facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
  • Abiding by cleanliness standards.
  • Complying with all rules and regulations in the rental agreement.
  • Not defacing, damaging or destroying any part of the rental unit.
  • Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors.
  • Maintaining smoke detectors.

Examples of lease violations:

  • Having an unauthorized pet, guest or vehicle.
  • Parking in an unauthorized area.
  • Not maintaining a certain level of cleanliness.

Eviction for Committing Waste

In Indiana, a landlord can evict a tenant for committing waste (i.e., damaging the rental unit).  No prior notice is needed and the tenant must vacate immediately. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out. 

If the tenant does not move out, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

warning

Illegal Evictions in Indiana

In Indiana, any of the below is illegal. If found liable, the landlord could be required to pay actual and consequential damages, attorneys’ fees, court costs, injunctive relief, or any other remedy that the court sees fit.

“Self-Help” Evictions

No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:

  • Changing the locks.
  • Shutting off utilities.
  • Removing tenant belongings.

A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

Retaliatory Evictions

It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. These rights include:

  • Complaining about habitability issues to the landlord or any authority tasked to enforce the law.
  • Filing a complaint to a government authority.
  • Joining or organizing a tenant’s union.
  • Testifying in court against a landlord.

Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

A landlord can begin the eviction process in Indiana by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person.
  2. Mailing a copy via registered or certified mail with a written acknowledgement of receipt to the tenant’s residence, business, or place of employment.
  3. Leaving a copy at the tenant’s residence and a copy must be mailed via first class mail.

It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice. 

10-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate

If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Indiana, the landlord can serve them a 10-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This notice gives the tenant 10 days (not counting weekends or legal holidays) to pay the entire remaining balance or vacate the premises.

1-Month Notice to Quit

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Indiana, the landlord must serve them a 1-Month Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 1 month to move out.

However, for tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:

Rent Payment Frequency Notice Amount
Week-to-Week 10 Days
Month-to-Month 1 Month
Quarter-to-Quarter No Statute
Year-to-Year 90 Days

“Reasonable” Notice to Cure or Vacate

For a tenant who has committed a lease violation in Indiana, the landlord must serve them with a “reasonable” notice to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant a “reasonable” amount of time to correct the issue or move out.

Questions? To chat with an Indiana eviction attorney, click here

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court

As the next step in the eviction process, Indiana landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate municipal, small claims, superior, or circuit court. Filing fees vary by court type. Filing fees vary, for example, eviction case filed in the Indianapolis Small Claims Court, is a $97 filing fee. Indiana eviction filing fees range from $86 to $158.

After the eviction lawsuit is filed, it can take a few days for the court to issue the summons

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comA few days. After the eviction lawsuit is filed, it can take a few days for the court to issue the summons.

Eviction Summons Complaint Served   on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Court Serves Tenant with Summons & Complaint

The summons and complaint may be served on the tenant by a sheriff but this isn’t a requirement for proper service.

For evictions held in Small Claims Court, the summons and complaint must be served at least 10 days prior to the eviction hearing.

For drug-related evictions, tenants must be served with a copy of the summons and complaint within 20 days of the date the complaint was filed.

For evictions related to prostitution, the summons and complaint must be served at least five days before the hearing.

The summons and complaint may be served through any one of the following methods:

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
  2. Mailing a copy via registered or certified mail with a written acknowledgement of receipt to the tenant’s residence, business, or place of employment; or
  3. Leaving a copy at the tenant’s residence and a copy must be mailed via first class mail.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com5-20 days. Depending on the reason for the eviction.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 4: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgment

The reason for the eviction determines how quickly the eviction hearing will be held.

  • For ejectments and/or small claims evictions, the hearing must be held at least five days after the tenant is served with the affidavit.
  • For drug-related evictions, the hearing must be held within 20 days of the date the complaint was filed.
  • For evictions due to waste, an emergency hearing must be held within three days of the date the complaint was filed.
  • For prostitution-related evictions, the hearing must be held within 10 days of the date the injunction was filed.

Indiana state law doesn’t specify how quickly eviction hearings must be held for other eviction types, and when the hearing is held the depends on the trial court’s hearing schedule.

In most cases, if the tenant fails to appear at the hearing, the judicial officer will issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will have to move out.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord at the eviction hearing, a writ will be issued for possession and the eviction process will proceed.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com3-20 days. Depending on the reason for the eviction and the type of court the eviction hearing is held in.

Eviction Writ of Execution on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 5: Writ of Execution Is Issued

The writ of execution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff returns to the property to forcibly remove the tenant. The filing fee for a writ of execution is $13.

For drug or nuisance related evictions, the sheriff may return to the property no later than five days after the writ of execution is issued.

For all other evictions cases in Indiana, state law doesn’t indicate how quickly the writ of execution must be issued once the judicial officer has ruled in favor of the landlord, but in some cases, the writ may be handed to the tenant in court.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comA few hours to a few days. Depending on the reason for the eviction and the type of court at which the eviction hearing was held.

Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 6: Possession of Property is Returned

How long a tenant has to move out of the rental property depends on the reason for the eviction.

For drug-related evictions or if a tenant has created a nuisance on the property, tenants will only have 72 hours from the date the order is issued in favor of the landlord.

For ejectment actions (and most small claims eviction cases), tenants will only have 48 hours after receiving the order for possession to move out of the rental unit before law enforcement officials return to forcibly remove the tenant.

Questions? To chat with an Indiana eviction attorney, click here

Indiana Eviction Process Timeline

In Indiana, an eviction can be completed in 3 weeks to 4 months but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

Below are the parts of the Indiana eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

Step Estimated Time
Initial Notice Period 10-90 Calendar Days
Court Issuing Summons 5-20 Business Days
Court Serving Summons 3-20 Business Days
Tenant Response Period Not Specified
Court Ruling 3-20 Business Days
Court Serving Writ of Possession A Few Hours to a Few Days
Final Notice Period 48-72 Hours

Flowchart of Indiana Eviction Process

Indiana Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in Indiana, please refer to the official legislation, Indiana Code §32-31-1 to 32-31-9, §32-30-1 to 32-30-2, and the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, Rules 4 and 4.1, for more information.

Sources