Indiana Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: My lease is up mid August and I am behind in rent. The landlord is trying to force me to pay double the rent amt. Legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Answered on May 11, 2017

It sounds like your landlord is attempting to avoid eviction with you by renegotiating your lease agreement, which is perfectly legal. You are under no obligation to agree to her new terms. If you do not agree to her new terms she must still honor your lease agreement have to evict you.

However, having an eviction on your record can be a black mark that makes other landlords uncomfortable to rent to you. If you want to stay in the house, negotiate with your landlord.

As for the...
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Q: If I paid a rent deposit, is the landlord obligated to return the interest from deposit after a few years?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on May 4, 2017

No. Indiana doesn't require a landlord to return interest from the deposit.
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Q: As a renter, am I responsible for flood water clean up. If foundation is cracked can my lease be in void?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on May 2, 2017

It is very unlikely that as a renter you would be responsible for flood water clean up. Except explicitly stated otherwise in a rental agreement, landlords are almost always in charge of repairs.

Landlords have a duty to provide a safe and habitable living space for the tenants. Having a cracked foundation is not safe. If the landlord takes no action to fix it you may have cause to break your lease.

I suggest you consult with a local landlord/tenant attorney in your area to...
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Q: We have a signed purchase agreement with a FSBO home. The owner did not show up to closing and will not respond?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Answered on Apr 23, 2017

If you have a fully signed contract and you have satisfied all of your conditions that will allow for you to close, you could, if you have the financial inclination to do so, file a Notice of Pendency coupled with an action for Specific Performance to force her to sell you the real estate.
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Q: Home bought that was stamped unsafe and unaware of it at time of purchas.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander and Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Answered on Apr 20, 2017

You need to consult with a real estate attorney in your area ASAP. Depending on the reason for why the home was deemed unsafe for habitation and whether or not the previous owners knew about it, the previous owners could be liable for any damages related to having to find a new place to live as well as what you put into the house. This is based only on the limited facts available here.

Consult with a real estate attorney in your area ASAP.
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Q: My mother in law has a mortgage on a house and has been letting someone live there for the past 7 1/2 months .

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Apr 17, 2017

No. You will have to go to court and obtain an eviction order. This can usually be done without an attorney.
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Q: I have a 20-year-old stepdaughter that lives with us. She is a part-time college student, going 2-3 days weekly.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Apr 14, 2017

Yes but you will have to go about it the same way every other landlord does. Go down to your local courthouse, go to the Small Claims desk, ask for a small Claims form for landlords, pay the service and filing fee, get your court date and show up at the specified times. This can usually be done without a lawyer.

I do want to mention though that evicting a family member most likely will have a negative impact on your relationship. The threat of eviction may be enough to cajole your step...
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Q: If my now ex girlfriend still lives in the house I alone rent, do I have to give her a 30 day notice?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Apr 7, 2017

This is a tricky situation. You will have to evict her if she has been living with you for a while. You can try to file for an emergency eviction and immediate sole possession of the property at your local courthouse based on immediate danger or even a theory of her committing waste. You could also consider calling the police if you have found drugs in your home or you come home to her using. However, there may be complications, especially if kids are present. CPS will most likely end up...
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Q: Can I break a lease due to hardship?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Apr 3, 2017

Your brother can break his lease for any reason. Whether or not that reason excuses your brother from payment of rent to the landlord is another question. Hardship is not one of those reasons unfortunately. If your brother needs to break the lease because he cannot pay it he needs to make sure that you give proper notice to the landlord so that the landlord can find a replacement tenant ahead of time to minimize his or her damages. Please note that this will not excuse your brother from paying...
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Q: My husband and I bought a house with my mother. On all the paper work her name is first but it states we are equal owner

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Bankruptcy for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 30, 2017

No, you will not likely lose the house unless it is subject to a mortgage that is in default, and bankruptcy is usually an event of default in mortgages (still the debt could be reaffirmed in the bankruptcy in order to keep the house, depending on several factors, including whose debt it is). But you could end up with a new co-tenant in place of your mother. The order of the names on the deed is not important; it's the nature of the co-ownership that counts, whether as joint tenants with...
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Q: I live in Indiana 3 years ago my neighbors tree fell into my house during a storm has the statute of limitations passed?

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 25, 2017

Most likely yes, the statute of limitations has passed. You had 2 years from the actual occurrence of the tree falling onto your house during the storm to bring a claim against him.

As for the one that is on the property line, if it is on your property, feel free to take care of it yourself. I would consult with a real estate attorney and double check to confirm that the tree is actually on your property. Generally though if it is on your property or hangs over your property line you're...
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Q: I own a condo in Indiana and rent out my basement. It's a shared entrance. Do I need any type of permit or renters ins?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 13, 2017

It is going to depend where you live. There is no statewide renter system or database. Some cities require all rental units within their jurisdiction to be registered. For example, Bloomington requires that your property be registered with the city and inspected if you are renting out rooms or the property to other people.

Is your condo a part of a housing association or condo association? They may have more rules governing renters that you would have to abide by if you are a part of...
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Q: We 3 siblings own our dead mother's house. Only my sister has access to utility bills. I pay sister but nothing on.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 11, 2017

If all of you are on the deed you should all have access to pay the utility bills. If your sister is supposed to be paying the utility bills but is not, stop paying her for the utility bills and contact the utility companies directly to pay off the outstanding balances in order to get the power and other utilities turned back. Ask your sister what happened to the money and ask for repayment for what you have given her so far. If she refuses to pay, consult with an attorney to file a claim in...
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Q: What happens to a land contract when the buyer dies and they was the only one on contract

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 10, 2017

You should review the terms of the contract with an attorney. Many contracts contain provisions governing what happens in the event of the death of one of the parties. Generally speaking though, just because one party is deceased does not mean that the contract is terminated instantly.
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Q: The apartment building where I live has been sold. My lease doesn't expire until July. Does new owner have to honor it?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 4, 2017

When real property is sold to new owners the new owners take the property subject to the lease agreements. Unless the property was acquired through a foreclosure, the new owners cannot evict you unless your lease dictates otherwise. The new owners can evict if you fail to pay rent, commit waste or due anything else that violates your lease agreement just like your old landlord could.

If the new owners of your apartment building attempt to evict you with no grounds or threaten to, you...
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Q: IC 32-31-3 Regarding return of security deposit. My lease ended 12/01/16 and I have not received refund. Is the time up?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 4, 2017

Yes. In Indiana, if there is a security deposit, the landlord must give an itemized list of deductions from the security deposit and return the security deposit minus the difference of any deductions within 45 days after the tenant has surrendered and vacated the property. You may have to resort to a small claims case to recover your security deposit if your former landlord is not responding.
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Q: We haven't had working heat since December just got working water what can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 3, 2017

Unfortunately, your options are limited. Your landlord is constructively evicting you by not providing working heat and water. I suggest vacating and surrendering the property to the landlord and finding a new place to live if the property is unsafe and there is no heat.

You need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you wish to stay in the property and sort out the issue of late and missing rent payments.
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Q: I don't currently own the home but was robbed. Is homeowners going to cover it since I don't actually rent from anyone

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Criminal Law and Insurance Defense for Indiana on
Answered on Feb 5, 2017

Check the homeowners policy for coverages and exclusions. That is controlled by contract. Your first call should be to the insurance agent.
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Q: My husband has lived in his grandparents house for 40 years. His brother is trying to evict us. What can we do?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Answered on Jan 22, 2017

This is more of an Estate law question than a real estate question. Consult an estate lawyer.
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Q: As as executor of my fathers estate can I remove a sibling from the home in order to sell?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Indiana on
Answered on Jan 16, 2017

As Personal Representative (which is what Indiana and many other states now call 'executors') once your Father dies you have a DUTY to both file for probate and 'marshal the assets' which means protecting them. If things are disappearing and you don't have control of the property, you are not doing what you should.

I would strongly urge you to consult with an attorney local to where your father lived at the time of his death (you don't say, but I assume he's passed -- you can't do...
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