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Can a Landlord Evict Someone In Indiana If There Is No Lease? | Learn About Law

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Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
August 11, 2020

There are two hurdles a landlord must clear to evict a tenant in Indiana: the landlord must have the legal right to end the tenancy, and they must follow the proper eviction procedures. Landlords need to prove a reason to evict tenants when their lease is in force. When there is no lease, or after a lease has ended, all the landlord needs to do is follow the proper notice procedure before filing an eviction action.

A. What is a lease?

A lease is a legally enforceable contract that creates an agreement between the owner of property (the landlord) and a tenant, giving the tenant a right to occupy the leased space. The lease details written rights and responsibilities for both the tenant and the landlord. In general, if both parties abide by their responsibilities under the agreement, the landlord cannot ask the tenant to leave until the end of the lease period.

Usually leases run for a specific period, such as a year. Near the end of the lease term the landlord may ask for a new lease, or the parties may continue the arrangement on a month-to-month basis. Sometimes the switch to a month-to-month tenancy at the end of the lease period is written into the initial lease. The length of the agreement and its current status determines whether a landlord can ask the tenant to leave the property.

B. Renting Property Without a Lease

A lease creates a business relationship between a landlord and a tenant. It also clarifies each party’s rights and responsibilities related to the property. If a tenant rents without a lease they have to rely on Indiana statutes and common law (prior legal cases) to protect their rights as a tenant. 

If the landlord has agreed to rent to the tenant, the landlord can evict the tenant at any time with 30-day notice, or with notice as defined under the lease or notice periods allowable under Indiana law for special circumstances. If someone is “squatting” or living on the landlord’s property without permission, the landlord does not need to give notice before filing to evict the person.

C. The Eviction Process

An eviction is a legal process by which a landlord attempts to remove a tenant from the leased space. Landlords are allowed to evict tenants who break the rules under the lease. If the lease period has expired and has not been renewed, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant as long as they give proper legal notice. 

Indiana law requires landlords to give a 30-day notice before filing an eviction action unless the lease states a different notice period or other circumstances apply as defined by Indiana law. For example, a tenant’s use of the unit for criminal activity can reduce the landlord’s required notice time. 

A written lease creates rights and responsibilities to protect both the landlord and the tenant. A landlord who has agreed to let the tenant use the property can ask for their property back at the end of the lease term. The landlord must give proper notice under Indiana law prior to filing an eviction action, so the tenant has an opportunity to move or to create a new agreement with the landlord. If a person is living on the landlord’s property without permission, no notice is needed prior to filing an eviction action against the tenant.

Although the landlord has a right to their property, tenants have other rights and defenses to eviction under federal, Indiana and local law. Tenants who believe a landlord has violated their legal rights in filing for eviction should speak with an attorney.

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Can a Landlord Evict Someone In Indiana If There Is No Lease? | Learn About Law

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