Indiana Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Indiana Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Last Updated: April 22, 2023

Tenants in Indiana have the legal right to repairs for issues that place the property in violation of state health and safety standards. To exercise this right, they must properly notify the landlord about the issue in question, and allow a reasonable time for the repairs to be made.

Indiana Landlord Responsibilities for Repairs

Landlords in Indiana are responsible for keeping all of the following in good working condition:

  • Heating
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Locks
  • Hot and cold water
  • Common areas
  • Provided appliances
  • Anything impacting health, safety, or habitability

If any of the above stops working properly, and the tenant isn’t at fault for the damage, the landlord is the one responsible for making the repairs necessary to fix it.

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What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Indiana?

Tenants in Indiana are responsible for repairing any damage they cause to the property which affects health and safety.

Requesting Repairs in Indiana

Indiana tenants have many potential ways to request repairs. All the law requires is for the tenant to effectively communicate the needed repairs to the landlord, giving a reasonable time to perform repairs before taking further action. As a general rule, written notice is always preferable for reasons of evidence.

How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs in Indiana?

Indiana landlords have a “reasonable time” to complete repairs after notice. What’s reasonable is determined case by case; for example, courts have held that two weeks to repair a water heater, and one week for a burst pipe, were unreasonable waits.

Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Indiana?

Indiana landlords cannot refuse to make repairs that are their responsibility. However, refusal to repair is not an excuse for the renter failing to keep his end of the rental agreement. For example, a landlord who fails to repair may still be able to evict for a default on rent.

Do Landlords Have To Pay for Alternative Accommodation During Repairs in Indiana?

Indiana landlords are not required to pay for alternative accommodation while they conduct repairs.

Tenant’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Indiana

Indiana tenants can sue for damages or get an injunction when the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs, recovering court costs and attorney fees either way. For severe issues that substantially prevent the intended use of the property, the tenant can claim constructive eviction, end the lease, and move out.

Can the Tenant Withhold Rent in Indiana?

Indiana tenants are not allowed to withhold rent. As long as the tenant is occupying the rental property, rent abatement is strictly an issue for the courts to decide.

Can the Tenant Repair and Deduct in Indiana?

Indiana tenants are not allowed to arrange for repairs and deduct from the rent.

Can the Tenant Break Their Lease in Indiana?

Indiana tenants are generally not allowed to break the lease. The only exception is when claiming constructive eviction after an issue so severe that it substantially prevents the intended use of the premises and the tenant moves out.

Can the Tenant Sue in Indiana?

Indiana tenants can sue to force repairs or recover monetary damages when the landlord fails to repair within a reasonable time. Tenants can recover court costs and attorney fees in either case.

Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Indiana?

Indiana tenants can report landlords for code violations that affect health or safety. Tenants should usually report to the local inspections or code enforcement department. If an inspecting officer finds a violation, the tenant could sue to collect damages or force repairs.

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Landlord Retaliation in Indiana

It’s illegal for Indiana landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction or other dispossession outside the rental agreement, against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions:

  • Complaints to the landlord about the landlord’s responsibilities.
  • Complaints to the government about health and safety.
  • Suing or testifying against the landlord.
  • Participation in a tenant organization.

The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.

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