Real Estate Law (esp. Landlord-Tenant)/Tenant issues


This is for the state of Indiana.

Background information:
I have a tenant living in a room in my house.
He is on a month to month lease.
Yesterday afternoon he verbally informed me that he wants to move out this weekend.
I told him that was perfectly fine and offered his room to a friend of mine.
Last night, my tenant told me that he isn't sure if he's moving this weekend or not.
My friend would like to move into the room and has to respond to his apartment complex regarding renewing his lease.
As such, I asked my tenant to let me know by 14:00 on Wednesday 12/18/2013 whether he intends to move out or stay.
My gut says my tenant will flake out on me. This will result in my friend having signed a lease at the apartment complex therefore not being able to live in the room in my house.

Terms of the lease that was signed by the tenant:
Resident agrees to pay in advance $x.xx per month due on the 1 day of each month. This agreement shall commence on July 2013 and continue until August 2014 on a month to month tenancy until either party shall terminate this agreement by giving written notice of intention to terminate at least 30 days prior to the date of the termination.
Lease was signed July 9, 2013.

My questions:
1. If my tenant says he doesn't want to move, can I give him a written notice on intention to terminate the lease in 30 days?
2. If my tenant doesn't respond to me by the deadline to let me know if he is moving or staying, an I give him a written notice on intention to terminate the lease in 30 days?
3. Is the contract in force from the date of it being signed or from the date he moved in?
4. Can the money from the security deposit be used to change the locks in the house if he does move?

Thank you in advance.

Hi Raminder,

Please review Indiana landlord/tenant law here:

1. Not if you have an existing lease, unless you and your tenant both agree to amend/cancel the existing lease.
2. Same as #1.
3. Normally from the date it is signed, but the rental term should be specified in the lease agreement.
4. Generally, the security deposit can be only for repairs over-and-above what would be considered normal wear and tear. You could also use the security deposit to offset any late fees or unpaid rent, if applicable.

Thanks for your question.

David Piotrowski
Attorney at Law

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Real Estate Law (esp. Landlord-Tenant)

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David Piotrowski, Esq.


My landlord/tenant practice primarily assists California landlords with all aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship including leases, contract violations, non-payment of rent, and evictions. I can also advise, on a more general level, other real property issues.


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