Housing Support

Moving In

Bloomington City ordinance requires landlords and tenants to complete a joint move-in inspection of the rental property within 10 days of the tenant’s move-in date.

A thorough move-in inspection, noting all pre-existing defects in the rental unit at the beginning of the tenancy may keep you from losing your security deposit to damages that were there when you moved in.

Take your time, note all defects, and TAKE PICTURES. Here is more information from Student Legal Services on how to conduct a move-in inspection.

Moving Out

The security deposit you paid before you moved in will be used to cover any damages to the rental unit that are beyond reasonable wear and tear. If you don’t know that this means, you’re not alone. The law recognizes that rental units will suffer some reasonable wear just from tenants living in them over time.

What actual reasonable wear and tear looks like, though, is not well defined in Indiana. The best thing tenants can do to protect their security deposit money (and avoid claims by landlords for additional money to cover alleged damages), is to take care of the rental unit during the tenancy, and clean it thoroughly before moving out.

Take pictures after you have cleaned the rental unit, and check your lease for any additional move-out requirements you agreed to.

Be sure to conduct a joint move-out inspection with the landlord.

Remember to give your forwarding address to your landlord in writing when you move out. Once your landlord receives your forwarding address, they have 45 days to send you information about how they used the deposit, and to return any net deposit remaining. If the landlord fails to send you this information, you may have a claim for the return of your entire deposit. 

See what else Student Legal Services has to say about moving out of your rental unit.

Choosing roommates

A roommate should be someone you trust. Remember, in most leases, each tenant is responsible for everything due under the lease.

If one tenant doesn’t pay rent on time, the others are still responsible to pay the full rent. If one of your roommates punches a hole in the wall, the landlord could charge you for the damages.

The landlord can go after everyone, or just the ones who are most likely to pay.

City ordinances

In addition to following the terms outlined in the lease, renters are also responsible for following city ordinances that deal with things like:

Noise violations

The City of Bloomington prohibits excessive noise, meaning any noise likely to annoy or disturb someone outside of your immediate vicinity, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Loud music, yelling and general party noise are often reported to the police in Bloomington, and party hosts face a $50 fine for violation of the noise ordinance. Fines increase up to $500 for repeat offenders.

Littering and trash

It is a violation of Bloomington ordinance to throw, place, or scatter garbage in your yard, as well as on sidewalks and streets. If you leave trash lying around, even if it’s in your own yard, you can be fined $50 by the city.

Occupancy limits

A zoning ordinance in Bloomington limits the number of unrelated adults who can live together in a single-family residence. Violating this ordinance can result in fines. Make sure you check with your landlord, and Housing and Neighborhood Development, to confirm you won’t have more than the allowed number of people living in your rental unit. Come to Student Legal Services if you have questions.