Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Who We Are

Housing Organizations United Serving Evansville (H.O.U.S.E.) is a collaborative group of housing advocates in Evansville, Indiana. Since 2016, H.O.U.S.E. has served as the housing work group of the Evansville Promise Zone.

HOUSE Members:

  • Aurora, Inc.
  • Community Action Program of Evansville
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment
  • Community One
  • ECHO Community Housing
  • ERS Management, LLC
  • Evansville Dept. of Metropolitan Development
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • HOPE of Evansville
  • Memorial Community Development Corporation
  • Old National Bank
  • Tru-Vest

If you are in need of legal advice and your income is at or below 125% of the federal poverty line, you may contact:

  • Legal Aid Society of Evansville
  • Indiana Legal Services

Your Landlord’s Rights and Responsibilities

Landlords have certain responsibilities, too. The landlord must:

  • Deliver the rental premises to a tenant in compliance with the rental agreement, and in a safe, clean, and habitable condition
  • Comply with all health and housing codes applicable to the premises
  • Provide and maintain in good and safe working conditions:
    • Electrical systems
    • Plumbing systems to supply a reasonable supply of hot and cold running water at all times
    • Sanitary systems
    • Heating and ventilating systems at all times and air conditioning if offered at the time of rental
    • Elevators, if provided
    • Any appliances supplied as an inducement to the rental agreement

Your Rights as a Tenant

If you lease a rental unit, you have the following rights as a tenant under the law. You have the right to a safe and livable home. This means a rental unit that:

  • Is secure, with doors and windows that can be locked
  • Has working plumbing, hot water, heating, and at least one working smoke detector
  • Is free from unhealthy conditions such as infestations or lead paint
  • Has functioning electricity without unsafe wiring or outlets
  • Common areas and elevators in clean, usable condition

You may have additional rights if you or someone in your household has been the victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking, and a civil protection order or criminal no-contact order has been entered

You have the right to basic privacy in your home. This generally means:

  • Your landlord cannot lock you out without a court order
  • Your landlord cannot enter your unit without notice, except in emergencies
  • You have the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, age, color, disability, ancestry, familial status, veteran status, or an expunged criminal conviction
  • Your landlord must return your security deposit within 45 days of you moving out if you leave the unit in good order and give a forwarding address. Your landlord must make an itemized list of any deductions from the full amount. You may dispute those deductions

Your Responsibilities as a Tenant

As a tenant, you have certain responsibilities:

  • Pay your rent. Do not stop paying rent to force your landlord to make repairs or provide upkeep, as this gives the landlord the right to evict you
  • You must keep your unit reasonably clean, and you may not deface, damage, or destroy your rental unit or a fixture in it
  • You must use the systems, appliances, and features of your rental unit and common areas of your building in a reasonable manner
  • You must comply with your rental agreement and other landlord rules and regulations
  • You must ensure that the smoke detector in your rental unit remains in working order
  • When you move out, you must leave the unit in good condition other then normal wear and tear

The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. Please consult with an attorney or civil legal aid organization for individual advice.