Indiana Tenant Screening
Last Updated: January 26, 2015
The state’s name means “Land of the Indians,” or simply “Indian Land.” It also stems from Indiana’s territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state.
How to Screen a Tenant in Indiana
DISCLAIMER: We do our best to keep this information accurate and up-to-date, but we cannot guarantee either. The most recent law changes may not be reflected here. We do not intend this information to be legal advice, nor are we qualified to advise you regarding legal matters. We highly recommend consulting a lawyer qualified to discuss landlord-tenant law to advise you. We do not specifically endorse any of the websites linked from these pages, nor are we in any way affiliated with the agencies or individuals who have published them. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of information posted on these sites. If you find a problem on this page, please contact us so that we can get it fixed.
Step 1: Know Your Rights & Responsibilities
Landlords and property managers are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF] (FCRA) during the tenant screening process. Additionally, Indiana has laws that affect the tenant screening process. You can find the current Indiana Housing Codes on the Indiana State Legislature website. If you are finding the formalities of the state code daunting, you might want to check out these friendlier sites:
Recent Law Changes
An Indiana Court of Appeals decision issued on October 28, 2014 changes the landscape of landlord/tenant subrogation in the Hoosier State. For years, Indiana allowed an insurer to bring a subrogation claim against a tenant. Indiana for the first time officially announced that whether a subrogation suit could be brought by a landlord’s insurer against a negligent tenant was to be determined by a case-by-case approach based on the reasonable expectations of the parties as reflected in the lease agreement. LBM Realty, LLC v. Mannia, 981 N.E.2d 569 (Ind. App. 2012)
Step 2: Required Forms & Disclosures
Tip: before you rent for the first time, consider hiring a lawyer to review all of the documents you will use during the application and rental process to ensure that you are protected to the fullest extent of the law.
- Rental Application [PDF] (this must be completed in full by the applicant prior to screening)
- Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF]
- Consumer Report Disclosure [PDF]
If you are ACCEPTING an applicant:
- Move-In Checklist [PDF]
- Lease Agreement (written), containing or attaching the following information:
- Owner/Agent Identity – this should include name and address, and if the owner/agent is out-of-state it must include contact information for a resident of the COUNTY in which the rental is located that can act as an agent for the purposes of serving notices and process.
- Security Deposit – this must include the amount of the deposit and the conditions under which some or all of the deposit may be withheld. It must also include the name and banking institution holding the deposit.
- Non-refundable Fees – explicitly describe any non-refundable fees, and state clearly that they are non-refundable.
- Fire Protection & Safety Information: You must disclose the available fire protection and safety information specific to the unit you are renting, including smoking policy, evacuation plans, and who to notify in case of emergency.
- Owner Or Agent Identity: Indiana landlord’s agent must disclose in writing the name and address of a person living in Indiana who is authorized to manage the property and to act as the owner’s agent. (Ind. Code Ann. 32-31-3-18)
If you are DECLINING an applicant:
- Adverse Action Notice [PDF]
Step 3: Order a Tenant Screening Report
What You’ll Need
- A completed rental application signed by the applicant.
- Some details about your applicant:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Previous address
- Bank account number (optional)
- Bank routing number (optional)
What Will Be Covered
- Package Options
- Background Report Coverage for Indiana:
- Criminal, OFAC/Patriot Act & Sex Offender Records – A nationwide search is always performed. These jurisdictions specifically are available in Indiana: IN Circuit Courts, IN Department Of Corrections, Dubois County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Inmates, Fulton County Inmates, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Ripley County Sheriff’s Department, IN Sex Offender Registry, Whitley County Sheriff’s Office.
- Eviction Records – records are available from the following counties: Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, De Kalb, Dearborn, Decatur, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Fulton, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Jasper, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Kosciusko, La Porte, Lagrange, Lake, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Porter, Posey, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, St Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, Washington, Wayne, Wells, White, Whitley.
- Bankruptcies, Liens & Judgments – records are available from the following counties: Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Fulton, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Jasper, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Kosciusko, La Porte, LaGrange, Lake, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Porter, Posey, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, Washington, Wayne, Wells, White, Whitley.
- Social Security Number validation, Death Index, credit checks, previous addresses, alias names, and the Rent Check Advisor include all information available regardless of location.
Resources for Indiana Landlords
- Indiana State Bar Association Lawyer Referral
- Indiana Courts Index
- Law Enforcement Agencies in Indiana (Wikipedia)