Most residential leases and rental agreements in Indiana require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here’s a summary of Indiana landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.
Does Indiana law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?
No. In Indiana, there's no statutory limit on security deposits at the state level, but check your city and county laws to see if your municipality has set a cap on security deposits for residential rentals.
To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.
What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Indiana for returning a security deposit?
Under Indiana law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 45 days after the tenant has surrendered the rental property to the landlord (that is, returned the keys and vacated the property).
Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.
Is there additional information that Indiana landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Indiana?
Not at the state level in Indiana. But be sure to check your local (county, city, or town) laws to see if your municipality requires landlords to take additional steps when it comes to tenants' security deposits.
Where can I look up Indiana law on security deposits?
If you want to go right to the source and look up Indiana law on security deposits -- or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law -- the relevant statute(s) can be found at Indiana Code Annotated §§ 32-31-3-9 to 32-31-3-19. Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in Indiana. For tips on looking up Indiana state and local laws, check out Nolo's State Laws & Legal Research section.
You may also find useful information on deposits in the tenant guide available at http://www.owencountyindiana.org/economic_development/TenantsRights.pdf.