Read further to learn more about the eviction process in Indiana and how many days’ notice are required in which situations.
What’s an Eviction Notice?
An eviction notice is a legal form of disclosure that lets a tenant know that they are in clear violation of their lease agreement, and either need to correct the issue or vacate the premises. Unfortunately, not every tenancy is perfect, and when a tenant, in some way, doesn’t live up to the original requirements of a fixed-term or at-will lease, then eviction proceedings can be initiated by the landlord.
Evicting a Tenant in Indiana
In the state of Indiana, when a landlord wants to evict, he or she can file a Notice to Quit, which is a legal document that calls for the tenant to rectify the situation or vacate the premises. Some common reasons for issuing one of these notices can be :
- The tenant regularly doesn’t pay their rent on time.
- There has been a problem with illegal activity in the unit.
- The tenant has harassed or abused neighbors or has done damage to the property.
- The rules of the original lease have been violated. This can include:
- Bringing pets into a pet-free unit.
- Smoking on the premises when this is not allowed.
- The tenant is the subject of numerous noise violations.
Once a notice has been submitted, in almost every case, the renter will have a period in which to remedy the landlord’s complaint. If the tenant either doesn’t respond or doesn’t show up in court, then the eviction proceedings can begin and the tenant will have to eventually vacate the premises. It’s important to understand that this is a process, and the landlord must grant the tenant the opportunity to move out or pay the full amount before forcibly evicting the renter with help from the local Sherriff’s Department.
When is Rent Late in the State of Indiana?
Rent is officially considered late when the renter has failed to pay the rental value within a day of its due date. After this point, the lessee has 10 days to pay the full amount after having received a 10-day notice from the landlord.
Types of Eviction Notices in Indiana
As a general rule, most states have at least one type of Notice to Quit document, and Indiana is a state that has two. Here’s a breakdown of each:
10-Day Notice to Quit
When a tenant is usually behind his or her rent, this is the type of notice that a landlord might send out. Once this has been sent out to the renter, they will have 10 days to pay back the amount of money requested, or they will have to vacate the premises. This type of notice is often referred to as a “Pay or Vacate” notice. This document can also be tendered in those situations where the tenant has been in violation of the original rules of the lease. If this is the reason, the tenant must rectify the situation within the 10 days in order to resolve the matter.
30-Day Notice to Quit
Sometimes, tenants and landlords alike find it more advantageous to enter into a month-to-month agreement. These agreements are free of a fixed term and they are also easier to end for both parties. These are also advantageous because they typically don’t require the courts. In Indiana, if a lessee or the lessor wants to end a lease, then either party must file one of these documents. Once the document has been tendered, the unit must be made vacant within 30 days.
The Eviction Process in Indiana
As mentioned, an appropriate amount of notice must be given, but if the tenant is destroying the property, a landlord will not have to provide this type of notice before starting the eviction. Once a notice is tendered, if the renter doesn’t respond, then the landlord can then file an action in the local courts in order to begin the eviction process. This typically begins with filling out a complaint form.
Next, the complaint will have to be served to the tenant along with a summons, and the tenant will have to then make a court appearance at a specified date. If the tenant doesn’t show, then the court will issue an order restoring the property to the landlord.
How to Write an Eviction Notice Letter in Indiana
Since this document is a record of a dispute being brought before the courts, it’s absolutely essential that it include all of the pertinent information. Here are a few things to consider in order for the document to be legal:
Prepare the Paperwork
The first step should be preparing any and all paperwork that’s associated with the problematic tenancy. Having this information at hand will ensure that any missed rental payments, problems with neighbors, or lease violations are available. One of the most essential pieces of information that needs to be included with the paperwork is the full information of the lessee as it appeared on the original lease. This means that the information must be 100 percent accurate or the document may be deemed invalid by the courts.
Identify the Recipient
In Indiana, the first thing that should go on top of the document is the name of the recipient. As mentioned, this should be precisely how it appeared on the original lease.
Define the Property
It’s critical that the property in question be defined next. For legality and completeness, this section needs to fully identify the street address of the property, the unit number, side streets, the county, and zip code. The section can include this format:
“The premises herein referred to is located in the city of _______________, county of ______________, state of Indiana, zip code _________, designated by the number and street as _____________________________________________, Apt ______.”
While having the date of the notice is useful, including the lease signing date is very critical for the records process. To include this information, start with the following:
“In accordance with your lease agreement, which was signed on the ____ day of ______________, 20__ and the laws in the State of Indiana after service on you of this notice, you are hereby required . . .”
State the Reason for the Notice
After identifying the recipient, property, and lease signing date, it’s time to include the reason for the notice being sent to the renter. This next section will include all of the data so that the subject of the notice is firmly established for the purposes of the courts. When writing one of these for general use with difficult tenants, three checkboxes can be included that can help expedite the process. They are as follows:
- Nonpayment: With this checkbox, the landlord is alerting the tenant that he or she is being issued a choice to either remedy the late rent or vacate the unit. When this is delivered, the tenant will have a 10-day period from delivery to relinquish the owed money to the landlord or an alternate agent. This section can be accompanied by the following verbiage:
“Within 10 days, you shall pay to the undersigned or_______ an authorized agent, the rent of the premises hereinafter described, of which you now hold possession amounting to the sum of______ dollars ($__) enumerated as follows…”
At which point, the written amount as well as the date period from which it was due should be provided.
- Noncompliance: When a tenant has in some way violated the rules set forth by the lease, then a noncompliance checkbox can be filled out in the Notice to Quit. This will explicitly define that the renter is in violation, and can include:
“Immediately remedy the violation described as _____(the violation). This is in non-compliance with your lease agreement. You shall notify the landlord as soon as possible that the violation has been cured or quit and deliver possession of the premises.”
- The End of a Month-to-Month Tenancy: This checkbox simply states the landlord’s intent for the property to be vacated based on the month-to-month agreement. Indiana law establishes that a landlord must provide a 30-day notice about this intent. The terminology used here can be: “I am your Landlord and this is the Tenant’s official notice that their lease shall be terminated on the ____(date)…”
In addition, a fourth checkbox can be included for tenants that are utilizing a month-to-month tenancy. This can be used when they are intending to vacate the premises. This can be titled “The End of a Month-to-Month Tenancy (Lessee).” When a tenant fills this out, it’s to provide the landlord with the required 30-day notice before the tenant vacates.
Establish the Landlord’s Intent
Towards the end of the document, a section can be provided reiterating the intent of the landlord to see the situation remedied. This is something that can help the tenant understand the seriousness of the situation. It’s a good idea to alert the tenant that if they do not comply and repair the situation that the landlord will follow through using the court system.
Certificate of Delivery
Finally, since the notice doesn’t legally begin until the tenant has received it, it’s important that the delivery of the document be reported by the person delivering it. If an agent is engaged, then he or she will need to document the delivery date as well as to whom the notice was delivered. In Indiana, this means that the document will clearly state that it was either delivered to an adult that is part of the household, to the tenant, or to a place of employment.