Warranty of Habitability in Indiana

Last Updated: April 22, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In Indiana, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Indiana Code § 32-31-8-5. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Gas, Sanitation Facilities, Smoke Detector
Time Limit for Repairs Within a “Reasonable” Time
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: No
  • Repair & Deduct: No

Applicable Dwelling Types in Indiana

The implied warranty of habitability in Indiana does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs No
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Yes
Condos Only if person in condo is a renter, not owner.
Hotels/Motels No

Landlord Responsibilities in Indiana

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Indiana, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Yes
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Not addressed
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. No
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. No
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. No

Read more

Flood Plains

If the landlord is aware that the rental unit is in a flood plain, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the landlord must disclose this fact to potential tenants.

Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in Indiana

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Indiana, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

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.

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

Renters in Indiana have the right to repairs for issues affecting health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. To exercise their right, the renter must start by notifying the landlord of the issue in writing. Landlords have a reasonable (defined case by case) time after notice for repairs.

If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter can ask a court to order repairs and/or compensation. Renters aren’t permitted to repair and deduct, or withhold rent. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in Indiana

Indiana landlords can’t 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:

  • Complaining about health and safety on the property, or the landlord’s responsibilities.
  • Suing or testifying against the landlord.
  • Participating in tenant organizations.

There’s an exception for non-retaliatory, good-faith motivations. For example, a proportionate increase in rent following a property tax increase isn’t retaliatory.

Tenants can respond by suing for related expenses and/or quiet enjoyment of the property. In either case, the tenant can recover court costs and attorney fees.