My first eviction in Indiana

15 Replies

Hi everyone,

I have a sfh rental in Elkhart Co. Indiana.  I have/had the tenants on a lease option that expires today, April 30th 2015.  I trusted these people since we've known each other for a few years prior to them renting from me and my wife.  In the lease it states that the tenant needed to give me notice 60 days prior to the lease ending if they were going to buy the home.  At that 60 days mark I contacted them and they told me they were in talks with one of their parents and working on getting help to buy the house...so I let it go, but kept in touch.  Eventually that deal with the parents fell through, but they told me that they had a friend of the family that was going to help them buy the house.  I was cautiously optimistic that the deal was actually going to go through.  After dodging my calls and texts for the last couple weeks I found out just today that this friend has no intention of helping my renters buy the house and they've been lying to me the whole time.  I was planning on extending the lease another month if we needed the time to make the sale, but after catching them in a lie- it's all over. They gotta go.

Tomorrow is May 1st.  They will be in my house on an expired lease.  In Elkhart Co. Indiana, what is the quickest and easiest way to get someone out of a house on an expired lease.  I know I don't have to give them 30 days.  

I'm looking for advice from people who've been there, done that.  Should I just get a 10 Day Eviction Notice from rocketlawyer?  What's the cheapest legal way to go about this?  Who knows...maybe they'll just leave peacefully and I won't have to serve any notices or go to court.  And then I'll wake up from that dream.

I know I've made mistakes like being too lenient and trusting.  I'm new at landlording, I'll learn.

Thanks in advance!

Cash for keys instead of eviction and court and credit report hurt and bad reference from you

Become familiar with the landlord-tenant law for your jurisdiction. If the lease ended and they are still occupying the house, they are still your tenant with full rights of tenancy until they voluntarily leave or until they are evicted by legal procedure. In most states an expired lease becomes a "tenancy at will" until you take action to end the tenancy. 

Did you give them the proper notice to either renew or not renew the lease? Everything is negotiable, so sit down with them and agree to a move-out plan that solves the problem without necessitating going to court.

Also, be careful with generic documents from the internet. Many local rental associations offer documents that are specific to the local area; you might do better by networking with successful landlords in your town.

Indiana is, thankfully, a landlord friendly state. I evicted a few in Fort Wayne. If you intend to evict, do not accept anymore money from them! I like the idea of offering them money to leave quietly! Good luck!

Thanks for the replies!  

@Brian Gibbons , I like the cash for keys idea.  What is a typical amount to offer--one month's rent?

@Jeff Sprunger , I called the court house today and they explained the process and told me it would be about $220.  That's $90 per adult and $40 to file.  Also, it would take about two weeks before I get a hearing.  Does that sound about right? 

I would offer bring them a van, offer to have hire guys to move them, offer give them $200 6 hours AFTER they leave IF left with no damage, bring them a credit report and show them what a judgement looks like, tell them if they are not out in 7 days and take your offer, which expires in 72 hours, no $200, no moving van, definite judgment, terrible reference FOREVER.

Rob, fees sound about right but the timeline seems long.  In Fort Wayne, there was eviction court every Friday.  So yeah, 2 weeks isn't out of the question. But if they accepted $500 bucks to move out in 2-3 days, in my opinion, you save money in the long run!

@Rob Kulp Most leases roll over to month to month unless the lease specifies other wise.  i would read your contract carefully you may need to give 30 days notice for them to move out.  Only after you have read your lease should you think about eviction.  I understand you are upset about a friend lying to you but it is still a business.  Did they take care of the property?  Did they make payments on time?  Are you going to rent it again or sale it?  You should consider these things before doing an eviction.  You have not even asked them if they are going to move.  Calm down think it through then act.

@Jerry W. , Yes, they took care of the place.  No, they never made payments on time, in fact they're behind two months.  I'm going to sell the property once they're out if they can't figure out a way to buy it.  

I've managed to calm down haha, and I'm going over to talk with them tomorrow about moving out peacefully.  We'll see how that goes.  I'll read the situation and see if I think I need to do a cash for keys deal as @Brian Gibbons and @Jeff Sprunger suggested.

Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions and advice.

I have handled several evictions in Indiana, but it greatly varies by county, even some cities/towns have their own eviction courts. The state as a whole is landlord friendly and understands it is a business. Since they have been behind 2 months, you can and SHOULD file immediately. 

One thing I would ask is if there is an additional fee needed for the Sheriff, as some counties require you pay a separate fee to have the Sheriff show up once the eviction is done. If you can get into the property prior to the tenants receiving the eviction filing from the court, you should snap as many photos of the condition along with date/time stamps on them. 

I can't speak to your location, but other eviction cases in Indiana i have had, they are usually given an eviction date the first court hearing. Then you go back about 45 days later to court for the "Damages" hearing. 

@Dale Stevens , thanks for the tip! I will take pictures when I go over tomorrow.  When I called the court house the woman I spoke with didn't mention a fee for the Sheriff but that doesn't mean there isn't one.  I really hope it doesn't come to that.

I keep hearing people say that Indiana is "landlord friendly".  Can I get some examples of some of the differences between IN and other not-so-landlord-friendly states?

The average time to get a tenant out of your home/apartment after you have filed eviction in #Chicago is about 8 months as of late. 

The landlord bears the burden to prove the rent wasn't paid, rather than the tenant being forced to prove they paid it.

Hence many people calling Cook County, CROOK COUNTY. Because of the dirty politicians and the people attempting to do something better for themselves are vilified rather than held out as examples of what to do.  

@Dale Stevens   8 MONTHS???  That's insane!!!  So you can expect to lose 2/3 of a year of rental income just trying to evict someone.  

Yes, that is true. And most tenants know this fact. They are "professional" tenants. Usually they will offer to pay 2 months up front. But the thing is. you will never see another dime. For that reason, I no longer do any rentals in the city of Chicago. It is just way tenant friendly. It is 150% wrong if you ask me, but then again I am not a politician on the take.

@Brandon Hicks , I ended up sitting down with my tenants and giving them an ultimatum. One that I should've done a long time ago.  I told them if they wanted to stay in the house they needed to be on automatic payments or they needed to get out.  And I also raised their rent. They said auto-payments sounded ok and we got that set up.  So now rent comes out of his paycheck before he even knows it there.  They are on a month-to-month lease and I'll be the second person to know if he should lose his job.  

The area where the house is hasn't bounced back very well since the crash and I was not looking forward to trying to sell it or find new renters.  Getting them on direct deposit has worked out...so far.  

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