As a landlord, it’s crucial to be aware of your responsibilities and obligations towards your tenants. One important aspect of landlord-tenant law is constructive eviction. Constructive eviction should always be on a landlord’s mind when addressing issues raised by tenants.

What is Constructive Eviction?

Constructive eviction occurs when a landlord’s actions or failure to act result in making a rental property uninhabitable or significantly interfere with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the premises. While it may not involve physically forcing a tenant out, it essentially renders the property unlivable, forcing the tenant to leave.

Elements of Constructive Eviction:

To establish a claim of constructive eviction, certain elements must be present:

  1. Breach of the Implied Warranty of Habitability:
    Under Indiana law, landlords are required to provide tenants with a habitable living environment. This includes maintaining essential services such as heating, plumbing, and electricity. If a landlord fails to address serious issues that affect the habitability of the property, it may constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.
  2. Notice to the Landlord:
    Before a tenant can claim constructive eviction, they must provide the landlord with written notice of the problem and a reasonable opportunity to fix it. This notice should clearly outline the issues and give the landlord a chance to rectify the situation within a reasonable timeframe.
  3. Tenant’s Vacating the Premises:
    To establish a claim of constructive eviction, the tenant must actually vacate the premises within a reasonable time after the landlord’s failure to address the issues. If the tenant continues to occupy the property without leaving, it may weaken their claim.

Implications for Landlords:

Constructive eviction can have serious consequences for landlords in Indiana. If a tenant successfully proves constructive eviction, they may be entitled to the following remedies:

  1. Termination of the Lease:
    The tenant can terminate the lease agreement without further obligations, including rent payments. This can result in a significant financial loss for the landlord.
  2. Damages:
    The tenant may seek compensation for any expenses incurred due to the uninhabitable conditions, such as temporary housing costs or property damage.
  3. Legal Costs:
    If the tenant takes legal action, the landlord may be responsible for covering the tenant’s attorney fees and court costs.

Preventing Constructive Eviction:

To avoid potential claims of constructive eviction, landlords in Indiana should take proactive measures:

  1. Regular Property Maintenance:
    Perform routine inspections and address any maintenance issues promptly. This includes repairing faulty plumbing, electrical systems, and addressing pest infestations.
  2. Timely Responses to Tenant Complaints:
    Respond to tenant complaints and repair requests in a timely manner. Document all communication and actions taken to resolve issues.
  3. Clear Communication:
    Maintain open lines of communication with tenants and encourage them to report any problems promptly. Address concerns and keep tenants informed about the progress of repairs.


Understanding constructive eviction from a landlord’s perspective is crucial for maintaining a positive landlord-tenant relationship throughout Indiana. By fulfilling your obligations, promptly addressing maintenance issues, and maintaining clear communication, you can minimize the risk of constructive eviction claims and ensure a harmonious rental experience for both parties.  If you own residential rental property anywhere in Indiana and are concerned about a constructive eviction or have any other landlord/tenant questions feel free to contact me.