The Eviction Moratorium in Indiana Explained
Chloe Meltzer | August 17, 2022
Temporary laws protected renters from eviction during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic
Summary: The eviction moratorium protected renters from eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is SoloSuit's guide on Indiana's specific laws surrounding eviction in wake of the coronavirus crisis.
In August 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new order temporarily halting evictions in certain areas of the country. This was to last until October 3 and focused on areas of the country where COVID-19 was continuing to spread. If you are a renter or a landlord in Indiana, it is important to understand what this means for you, and what happens after the moratorium is over.
Who is covered by the latest moratorium
Under the CDC's eviction order, all people including any tenant, lessee, or resident of a residential property are covered under the moratorium. They simply need to provide evidence that they have put their best efforts to obtain all available governmental assistance for rent or housing.
There are a few requirements as well:
- The individual cannot have earned more than S99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in Calendar Year 2020.
- The individual is unable to pay the full rent, or pay a complete housing payment due to loss of income.
- The individual is using their best efforts to make timely partial rent payments as they can.
- Eviction would push the individual into homelessness.
- The individual resides in a U.S. county experiencing substantial levels of COVID-19 as defined by CDC.
This Order applies in counties that are experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2.
Understanding eviction once the moratorium ends in Indiana
When a landlord wishes to evict a tenant in Indiana, there are specific rules that need to be followed. All of the rules and procedures set forth in Indiana state law must be followed or the eviction can not take place.
However, tenants have fewer legal defenses for not paying rent in Indiana than in many other states. For example, in states such as Michigan, Kentucky, and Minnesota, tenants have a right to withhold rent if a landlord fails to address major housing violations. These specific rights do not exist in Indiana.
It is good to note that if an Indiana tenant failed to pay rent because they took money for rent, there are options. If this money was spent to make repairs that a landlord should have made, then the court can deduct that amount from the total amount owed to the landlord once the moratorium is over.
Once the eviction is planned, it will start with a notice by the landlord for the tenant to terminate the lease. In order for this to take place, notice must be given to the tenant. There are a few different types of notices, which will be determined by the reason for the eviction.
Notice for termination with cause
In order to evict a tenant before the lease or rental agreement expires, there must be a legal reason to do so. The most common causes of eviction include:
- Failure to pay rent
- Violation of the lease or rental agreement
Notice of eviction
In most situations, a landlord can evict a tenant who purposefully destroys a rental unit or any property within it. Usually, the first step to evicting a tenant is to give notice. Notice can be one of the following:
- Ten-day notice to pay rent: When a tenant does not pay their rent when it is due, the landlord is then given the right to send a ten-day notice. If the tenant does not pay their rent after the ten-day period, then the landlord has the right to terminate the tenancy and file an eviction lawsuit.
- Notice to cure or quit: Should a tenant violate the lease or rental agreement, then the landlord can send the tenant a notice to cure or quit. This notice will state the violation of the tenant, and what they need to do in order to fix it. This must be done within a reasonable time or the landlord can terminate the tenancy. The landlord can also file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant if they do not fix it in a reasonable amount of time.
- Unconditional quit notice: If the tenant is a month-to-month tenant, then the landlord can terminate the tenancy at any point that the tenant willfully damages or destroys the rental unit property. The landlord must still provide the tenant with notice, but the notice will be regarding the lease ending immediately. At this point, the landlord can legally go and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant.
Notice for termination without cause
If a landlord does not have cause to evict a tenant, then they must wait until the lease has expired. The only difference is if the tenant is month-to-month. Then the landlord will need to provide the tenant with notice.
When a landlord wants to end a month-to-month tenancy in Indiana, the landlord is required to give the tenant a written 30-day notice to quit. The notice informs the tenant that the landlord wishes to end the tenancy. It also means that the tenant will need to move out by the end of the 30 days. If the tenant does not move within 30 days, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
If the landlord and the tenant have a fixed-term lease (typically for one year), then the landlord cannot evict the tenant without cause. If the landlord does not have a cause, they must wait until the end of the term before expecting the tenant to move. There is no need to give notice if the lease will end, the landlord simply does not need to renew the lease.
Paying back what you owe
Once the moratorium has ended, you will need to pay back what you owe. As long as you have paid at least 25% of your rent leading up to the end of the moratorium, you cannot be evicted immediately.
If debt collectors keep contacting you about a debt you owe, and it's keeping you from paying your rent, you can find relief. Try sending a Debt Validation Letter to request a formal debt validation. If the collectors don't have the proper documentation to validate the debt, they will probably leave you alone and won't be able to sue you for it.
On the other hand, if you've already been sued for a debt you owe, the first step to winning your lawsuit is to respond with a written Answer. Check out this video to learn more about responding to a debt collection lawsuit:
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