Like many states, the Indiana eviction process provides for a quick procedure to expel a tenant. Below are the most important steps to take to initiate an eviction.
A landlord’s first step is to serve a written 10-Day Notice to Quit. This is a simple form, which merely states that the tenant has no more than 10 days to leave the property unless rent due is paid within 10 days or a violation of the lease has been corrected. A description of the property is needed along with the date of the notice and signature of the landlord.
Note, the landlord also must wait 10 days after the rent is due before serving an Indiana eviction notice if the reason for the eviction is nonpayment of rent.
For month-to-month tenancies, the landlord does not need to give a reason for the eviction but must give the tenant a written 30-day Indiana eviction notice.
There are situations where no notice is required. This includes a tenant who has held over after expiration of the lease period or where the tenant commits waste.
The written notice to quit must be properly served. A landlord can serve it personally on the tenant or on an adult subtenant provided the server explains the notice’s contents to the subtenant. If no tenant is present, the server may post the notice to the unit door or leave it in a conspicuous location.
Once the tenant fails to comply with the notice, the landlord can file an action for Immediate Possession rather than an eviction action. This proceeding is only to determine who has rightful possession of the premises. A landlord can certainly negotiate with the tenant and extend the time for payment of past due rent or for other remedies, but accepting partial payment of rent could waive the landlord’s right to continue with the present court action.
For an Immediate Possession action, the landlord completes an Affidavit for Immediate Possession, which can be obtained on the court website or from any legal documents store.
The court will issue an order to the tenant called an Order to Show Cause and directing the tenant to appear at a certain time and place, usually no earlier than 5 days after service of the order. The order asks the tenant to appear and respond to the affidavit by filing his or her own affidavits contesting the action or by providing testimony at the hearing.
In emergency situations where the landlord demonstrates probable cause that the tenant is damaging the property or the property is in immediate danger of destruction or may be sold to an innocent buyer, the landlord can petition the court for an emergency prejudgment possessory order before the hearing and ask to shorten the time for the order to show cause hearing to 48-hours notice.
The court can also issue temporary restraining orders against the tenant to preserve the rights of the parties and the status of the property.
The Indiana eviction process also requires that the landlord obtain a surety bond before the court issues the possession order and before the final judgment or before the order to show cause hearing.
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