Too often we see landlords taking advantage of their tenants, simply because the tenants do not know their rights. The Indiana Civil Rights Commission compiled a list of landlord’s obligations and tenant’s rights. Some of the rights include a safe, clean and habitable living space, adequate access to the property, and maintenance of common areas. The following is detailed description of tenant’s rights:
- Safe, clean and habitable: the landlord must comply with all building and health codes and provide a safe and clean dwelling. The unit must be cleaned, with toilets, furnaces, and windows working. Locks must be on every outside door or doors that lead to a common area.
- Upkeep: Indiana Code requires a landlord to provide heat, water, and appliances. Additionally, landlords are required to provide sanitary, plumbing and electrical systems.
- Privacy: landlords must give the tenant advance notice before they enter the dwelling. The only exception is for emergencies.
- Maintenance of common areas: landlords have a duty to maintain common areas throughout the rental premises. Common areas are those shared by all tenants, including fences, parking, landscaping, and recreational areas.
- Deposit: a tenant has the right to have his security deposit returned if the rental property is returned to the landlord in good order. A tenant is required to have his security deposit returned to him within 45 days of the end of the least agreement.
- Right to legal action: tenants have a few options to pursue if a landlord neglects his duties, so it is always a good idea to consult an attorney to determine what option would be best for you.
On the other side, a tenant also has obligations. A tenant must follow health and housing codes. The rental unit must be kept clean, and all home systems such as water or electric are to be used in a reasonable manner.