Indiana Rent Control Laws in 2024

Introduction to Indiana's Rent Control Laws

Indiana is known for having tenant-friendly laws that strongly favor landlords over renters. Unlike many other states, Indiana does not have any rent control laws at the state level that limit how much a landlord can raise rent each year.

The lack of rent regulations gives Indiana landlords a lot of power when it comes to increasing rent and evicting tenants. However, some cities and counties have enacted local ordinances to provide tenants with more protections.

While Indiana may not be the most tenant-friendly state, arming yourself with knowledge of the law can help renters negotiate, assert their rights, and obtain fair housing.

Does Indiana Have Rent Control?

No, Indiana does not have statewide rent control laws that limit how much a landlord can raise rents each year. The state leaves it up to local city and county governments to implement rent stabilization policies if they choose.

However, the vast majority of cities and counties in Indiana have not enacted any form of rent control. Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend and most other major cities do not limit how much landlords can raise rents when leases renew.

As a result, Indiana is considered a very landlord-friendly state with very little regulation on rental rates. Landlords have broad freedom to raise rents to whatever rates the market can bear when lease terms expire.

The lack of rent control makes Indiana tenants vulnerable to dramatic rent hikes and displacement, especially in booming rental markets.

Limits on Rent Increases

Unlike some other states, Indiana does not have any statewide restrictions on how much a landlord can raise the rent. Landlords have free rein to raise rents to market rates when a lease term ends or with proper notice during a monthly tenancy. 

The lack of rent control in Indiana means tenants are vulnerable to sudden, dramatic rent hikes. Landlords can impose increases of 50%, 100%, or more if they believe they can get higher rents from new tenants. Long-term tenants on fixed incomes are hit the hardest by massive rent hikes.

However, a few Indiana cities have enacted local ordinances that limit rent increases. For example, Bloomington passed a rent control law in 2020 that prohibits increases over 10% within a 12-month period. But such ordinances are rare in Indiana, as the state prohibits local regulation of landlord-tenant laws in most cases. 

So for the vast majority of Indiana, unlimited rent increases are legal. The free market alone dictates how much rents can rise year to year. Tenants have little power or recourse when faced with unaffordable rent hikes. Their only options are trying to negotiate with the landlord, looking for cheaper housing, or moving out of the area.

Notice Required for Rent Increases 

Landlords in Indiana must provide proper written notice before increasing rent on a rental property. The required notice period depends on the type of rental agreement:

  • For month-to-month leases, landlords must provide at least 30 days advance written notice of any rent increase. 
  • For fixed-term leases, like a 6-month or 1-year lease, landlords typically must give tenants 90 days notice of any increase that will take effect at renewal. The notice period may vary based on what is written in the lease, but 90 days is common.
  • Notice of the rent increase must be made in writing, signed by the landlord, and properly delivered to the tenant, such as by certified mail. Verbal notices or indirect notices are not valid.
  • If proper notice is not given according to the type of lease, the rent increase may be considered illegal or invalid. Tenants should review their lease agreement and verify they have received adequate legally-required notice before any increase goes into effect.

Limits on Security Deposits 

Indiana does not have any statewide limits on the amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit. Landlords can require tenants to pay any amount they deem necessary as a deposit. 

Some local ordinances may place limits on security deposits. For example, in Indianapolis the maximum a landlord can charge for a security deposit is equal to one month's rent. However, most areas of the state have no restrictions.

Without laws limiting security deposits, landlords have a lot of leeway. Tenants should be prepared for the possibility of large security deposits when renting in Indiana, sometimes equal to 2-3 months rent or more. It's important to get the details on the deposit amount and conditions in writing when signing the lease agreement.  

Some tips for Indiana renters dealing with security deposits:

  • Ask if the deposit can be split into installments if you cannot afford to pay it all upfront
  • Thoroughly document the condition of the unit when moving in and out  
  • Send a certified letter if your deposit is not returned within 45 days after moving out
  • Familiarize yourself with Indiana security deposit laws and dispute procedures
  • Contact legal aid if you believe the landlord wrongfully withheld your deposit

Without statewide protections, tenants in Indiana face uncertainty when it comes to security deposits. Being informed about local laws and prepared for large deposit requirements is key.

Landlord vs. Tenant Responsibilities

In Indiana, landlords and tenants have different responsibilities when it comes to property maintenance and repairs. Here's a quick overview of who is responsible for what:

Landlord Responsibilities

The landlord is responsible for:

  • Maintaining the structural integrity of the building and making any necessary repairs to the structure itself
  • Keeping electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other systems in good working order 
  • Providing trash removal and recycling services
  • Maintaining shared areas like lobbies, stairwells, and elevators
  • Exterminating pests and rodents
  • Ensuring the rental meets all applicable building and housing codes

Tenant Responsibilities  

The tenant is responsible for:

  • Keeping the rental unit clean, sanitary, and avoiding property damage
  • Proper disposal of trash and recycling  
  • Basic housekeeping and maintenance 
  • Reporting any necessary repairs promptly 
  • Paying for any damages caused by the tenant or their guests
  • Changing HVAC filters monthly 
  • Replacing lightbulbs, smoke detector batteries, etc.
  • Yard maintenance and snow removal (if specified in the lease)

Disputes over who is responsible for certain repairs and maintenance should be handled according to the terms of the lease. Consulting a local tenant advocacy organization may also help provide guidance on responsibilities.

Rules on Subletting and Guests

The rules regarding subletting and guests depend on the terms of your lease agreement. Some standard guidelines in Indiana include:


Many leases prohibit subletting without the landlord's written consent. Some may allow it under certain conditions, like requiring a sublease agreement and consent from the landlord. The original tenant typically remains responsible under the main lease. The landlord's approval is not guaranteed.  

Long-term guests

Most standard leases limit how long guests can stay, often to 1-2 weeks. Tenants should avoid "roommates" or long-term, frequent guests not on the lease, which could risk eviction. Check your lease terms.

Guest policies

Standard leases often limit the total number of guests and overnight stays. Typically limits are around 10-14 nights per year. Policies vary, so review your lease carefully.


Having pets requires written permission in your lease. Unauthorized pets can lead to eviction and fees. Even if pets are allowed, there are usually restrictions on type, size, and number of pets. Service and assistance animals have protections. 


Many apartments now prohibit smoking inside units and sometimes on balconies or patios. There may be designated smoking areas. Having guests who violate no-smoking rules could create liability for tenants.

Other policies

Review all lease terms related to guests, noise, shared spaces, parties, occupancy limits, and landlord entry. Violations could lead to eviction. Ask your landlord about any unclear guest policies.

The best practice is to read your entire lease agreement closely and understand all policies around subletting, guests, pets, and use of the unit before signing. Consult an attorney for advice and help avoiding lease violations.

Options for Unaffordable Rent Increases

If you receive notice of a rent increase you feel you cannot afford, you have a few options:

Seek rent assistance

Look into rent assistance programs like Section 8 which provide vouchers to subsidize rent. You can also contact local charities and churches to ask about any emergency rent relief funds. 

Negotiate with your landlord

Explain your situation and inability to pay the increased amount. Ask if your landlord can limit the increase or spread it out over several months. Offer to sign a longer lease if the landlord will keep rent stable. Landlords want to avoid vacancies and turnover costs.

Move to a cheaper unit

Start looking for more affordable apartments in the area, and be ready to give notice and move when your lease is up. Moving is a big hassle, so this is a last resort. But paying 40-50% or more of your income on rent is not sustainable long-term.  

Get a roommate

If renting a room could help you cover the gap, consider taking on a roommate and splitting costs. Make sure your lease allows subletting and room rentals first.

Negotiate a buyout

Ask your landlord if they would be willing to end your lease early in exchange for 1-2 months of rent paid upfront. This avoids an eviction on your record.

Contact local tenant resources

Organizations like Indiana Tenant Rights may be able to provide guidance and mediation assistance to address unaffordable rent increases. Don't face this alone.

The key is addressing the issue proactively rather than waiting until an eviction notice is posted. Don't be afraid to assert your rights, and know there are resources available if your housing becomes unaffordable.

Tenant Resources and Contacts

While Indiana may not have the most tenant-friendly laws, there are still resources available to help renters understand their rights and get assistance when needed. Here are some organizations tenants can turn to:

[Indiana Tenant Advocate](

This nonprofit organization offers free education, counseling, and support for Indiana tenants. They provide information on tenant rights, help resolve disputes with landlords, and advocate on behalf of renters.

ILS is a nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income residents. They can advise tenants on landlord-tenant law and provide legal representation for housing cases.

[Township Trustees](

Local township trustee offices assist individuals who are struggling financially. They may be able to help with back-due rent, security deposits, and more. Search for your local office.

[Area Agencies on Aging](

The AAAs help older and disabled Hoosiers maintain independence. They can connect seniors and those with disabilities to resources for affordable housing.

[HUD Approved Housing Counselors](

These HUD-certified advisors provide guidance on housing issues like renting, evictions, and finding low-cost options.

Legal Aid provides civil legal services to low-income people. Their services cover housing-related issues.

Tenants can also contact their local tenant advocacy groups, fair housing organizations, or housing nonprofits for help. Connecting with other renters can provide support and advice as well.

Handling Landlord-Tenant Disputes  

If you have an issue with your landlord or property manager, there are steps you can take to resolve the dispute:

Talk to your landlord first

Have a polite, professional conversation explaining the issue and try to come to a reasonable agreement on how to address it. Make sure to document your interactions.

Send formal written notice

For more serious issues, put your concerns in a formal letter to create a paper trail. Make sure to keep a copy. Send it by certified mail with return receipt.

File a complaint

You can file a complaint with the Attorney General's office or a local tenant advocacy group. They can provide advice, investigate, and take action against violations.  

Withhold rent

In certain situations, like failure to make repairs, you may be legally allowed to withhold rent in escrow until the issue is resolved. Get legal guidance first.

Go to small claims court

You can sue a landlord for violations in small claims court and recover damages up to $6,000 in Indiana. No lawyer is needed, but document everything.

Hire a lawyer

For serious issues threatening your living situation or violating the law, you may need to hire a tenant lawyer to formally represent you and take legal action.

Contact local tenant organizations

Groups like the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Rented Housing or Indiana Tenant Rights Union can provide guidance and support for free or low cost.

The most important thing is to know your rights, document everything in writing, and don't be afraid to assert your rights politely but firmly. Seeking help from advocates can also strengthen your position against an unreasonable landlord.

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