Eviction, the removal of a tenant from rental property, involves a series of steps that must be complied with if a landlord is to stay within the letter of the law. Regardless of the state, eviction falls under the Due Process provisions of the U.S. Constitution. In Indiana, the eviction process starts with the notification of the tenant.
The type of notice that is required for eviction varies in accordance with the circumstances and the terms of the lease. Most eviction processes start with a ten-day notice of eviction. This allows the tenant ten days to catch up on the rent.
The notice must be delivered to the tenant. This can occur in person, through the mail, or simply by attaching the notice to the premises. For proof of delivery, of course, it is better to have proof of receipt such as that that would be provided with a signature of receipt.
The eviction process must be based on cause. Tenants who do not pay their rent are one of the more common examples of cause. In such cases the landlord would proceed under Eviction Notices for Nonpayment of Rent in Indiana (Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-1-6 ).
Then there are even worse situations where the tenant is physically damaging the structure or conducting some sort of activity that is outside the terms of the lease agreement. If a lease specifies no pets, for example, and a tenant decides to move in three large and noisy dogs then there is obvious cause. Leases also typically specify the number and identities of people who can live on the premises. While an occasional overnight guest may be acceptable, moving in unauthorized individuals constitutes cause for eviction. These types of lease violations may require a Notice to Cure or Quit (Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-7-7). Under this type of notice, the tenant is allowed a period to alleviate the problem causing the lease violation. If the tenant does not comply then the landlord proceeds with the eviction lawsuit.
Long-term leaseholders have different obligations than do short-term tenants or so-called “at-will tenants”. At-will tenants is prefaced simply on month-to-month occupancy. A thirty-day notice is still required for at-will tenants but no cause is required. On the other hand, a landlord can terminate his relationship with an at-will tenant immediately if the tenant willfully harms the property. Notification is still required but that notification is immediately followed up by eviction proceedings.
Physical Removal of Tenant
It is important to note that even after evictions proceedings have been completed, the landlord does not have the right to physically remove a tenant or his belongings. If a tenant is recalcitrant, law enforcement must be called in to physically remove them from the premises. Furthermore, if they leave behind belongings, the landlord is not allowed by law to simply seize those belongings Instead, they must once again go back to court and file for a court order. Once the court order is received, the landlord must once again provide notice to the ex-tenant telling them their belongings have been seized. These belongings must be placed in the hands of a warehouseman or storage unit. If the property is not claimed within ninety days and storage fees not paid, the warehouse has the right to sell the property and keep the proceeds.
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