Understanding Constructive Eviction: A Landlord’s Perspective in Indiana

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Landlord Tenant


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. 

More about Chad W. Nally

More about Chad W. Nally

Chad Nally is a Partner at Burke Costanza & Carberry, LLP and a member of the firm’s litigation and business practice groups. Chad’s practice primarily focuses on representing both businesses and individuals in the areas of creditor’s rights, collections, and commercial litigation. Chad is also a disabled veteran who assists other veterans with their legal needs.