I am looking for information on this however I've found it difficult to locate information regarding this situation for Indiana.
I am in the process of an eviction of my tenant. We filed last week. We think there is a possibility that they may have abandoned the property since then. If we can verify that they have packed up and left my question is would I be within my rights to secure the property by changing the locks if I can prove that they have vacated? I want to proceed with the eviction however I don't want this to jeopardize my case.
I found this, however the way that it is written is somewhat confusing for me to understand.
Due to the section I have put in bold I'm finding it difficult to understand what rights in an abandonment/eviction situation I may have to secure my property to keep my property safe. (Right now I have some concerns based on recent knowledge I have obtained.) I do not want to assume and then get to court and then I'm stuck in a bad situation however I don't want my property damaged or stolen either which appears to be possible it could happen.
Landlord prohibited from interfering with access, possession, or essential services; unit entry by landlord
Sec. 6. (a) This section does not apply if the dwelling unit has been abandoned.
(b) For purposes of this section, a dwelling unit is considered abandoned if:
(1) the tenants have failed to:
(A) pay; or
(B) offer to pay;
rent due under the rental agreement; and
(2) the circumstances are such that a reasonable person would conclude that the tenants have surrendered possession of the dwelling unit.
An oral or written rental agreement may not define abandonment differently than is provided by this subsection.
(c) Except as authorized by judicial order, a landlord may not deny or interfere with a tenant's access to or possession of the tenant's dwelling unit by commission of any act, including the following:
(1) Changing the locks or adding a device to exclude the tenant from the dwelling unit.
(2) Removing the doors, windows, fixtures, or appliances from the dwelling unit.
(3) Interrupting, reducing, shutting off, or causing termination of any of the following to a tenant:
(D) Other essential services.
However, the landlord may interrupt, shut off, or terminate service as the result of an emergency, good faith repairs, or necessary construction. This subdivision does not require a landlord to pay for services described in this subdivision if the landlord has not agreed, by an oral or written rental agreement, to do so.
(d) A tenant may not interrupt, reduce, shut off, or cause termination of:
(3) water; or
(4) other essential services;