Tenant’s obligations include the following: 

(1) Comply with health and housing codes;
(2) Keep all areas of the rental premises occupied or used by the tenant reasonably clean;
(3) Use all electrical systems, plumbing, sanitary systems, heating and cooling systems, elevators, facilities, and appliances of the rental property in a reasonable manner;
(4) Refrain from defacing, damaging, destroying, impairing, or removing any part of the rental premises;
(5) Comply with all reasonable rules and regulations set forth in the rental agreement;
(6) Ensure that each smoke detector installed in the tenant’s rental unit remains functional and is not disabled;
(7) Deliver the rental property back to the landlord, upon the expiration of the lease, in clean and proper condition, other than normal wear and tear.

A landlord may not bring an action against the tenant to enforce any of these obligations unless the landlord gives the tenant notice of the tenant’s noncompliance. 
The landlord must also give tenant a reasonable amount of time to remedy the noncompliance. If the landlord is successful in an action against the tenant, the landlord may collect actual damages, reasonable costs, and attorney fees.

Landlord’s obligations include the following:
(1) Deliver the rental premises to a tenant in compliance with the rental agreement, and in a safe, clean, and habitable condition;
(2) Comply with all health and housing codes applicable to the rental premises;
(3) Make all reasonable efforts to keep common areas of a rental premises in a clean and proper condition;
(4) Provide and maintain all electrical, plumbing, and sanitary systems; all heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems; elevators; and all appliances supplied as an inducement to the rental in good and safe working condition.

A tenant may bring a cause of action in a court of jurisdiction to enforce the landlord’s obligations. The tenant must first notify the landlord of the noncompliance and allow the landlord reasonable time to make repairs or provide a remedy to the condition described in the tenant’s notice. If the tenant is successful in an action against the landlord, the tenant may collect actual damages, reasonable costs, and attorney fees. A landlord’s liability for damages begins when the landlord has notice or actual knowledge of noncompliance and
the landlord has either refused to remedy the noncompliance, or
failed to remedy the noncompliance within a reasonable amount of time following the notice or actual knowledge, whichever occurs first.

The landlord may withhold a portion of the tenant’s security deposit to cover any rent in arrears, any damages to the residence or to the landlord, other than normal wear and tear, or any unpaid utility or sewer charged that the tenant was obligated to pay under the rental agreement. These itemized withholdings must be presented to the tenant in writing and delivered within forty (45) days of the lease termination. The itemized list must contain the cost of repair for each damaged item and the amounts/lease on which the landlord intends to assess the tenant. Also, with the list, the landlord must include a check or money order for the difference between the damages claimed and the amount of the security deposit held by the landlord. If the landlord fails to comply with this section, the tenant may recover the full value of the security deposit, plus reasonable attorney costs.

If you are a landlord or a tenant and you feel your rights have been violated, call Tate & Bowen LLP at (317) 296-5294.

All information included in the above blog is solely for informational purposes. The information above does not create an attorney/client relationship and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Seek legal advice on the topic before relying on any information contained herein, as laws change and the information may be out-of-date. The author of this blog is licensed to practice law in the state of Indiana.

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