Indiana State Legislation Updates

The 2019 Indiana General Assembly ramped up this month with multiple pieces of legislation moving to committee hearings and activity increasing on the chamber floors.

Over 1,000 bills have now been released so we have a clearer picture of potential legislation to be discussed this session. The following is a brief summary of what happened this week at the Indiana Statehouse and what’s coming up. You can find an updated full list of bills we are following below.

Utility Bills:
Indiana House Bill 1347 (click for more info)
All rates, charges, and other fees for services rendered by a municipally owned utility to a property occupied by a rental tenant are payable only by the tenant and not the owner/landlord.
The landlord/owner may need to provide a lease to the utility to facilitate this.
Tenant utility charges do not constitute a lien against the property.
Creates a process for establishing an ad hoc policy review committee for a municipally owned utility that is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (90% of municipally owned in Indiana are NOT) if there is a significant complaint.
Goes on to detail how this process would work in greater detail.
Landlord Tenant Matters:
Indiana Senate Bill 524 (click for more info)
Residential landlord-tenant matters.
Makes the following changes to the residential landlord-tenant statute: (1) Increases from 10 days to 14 days the time in which a tenant has to cure a failure to pay past-due rent before the landlord may terminate the lease. (2) Provides that a landlord may not initiate an eviction proceeding or otherwise terminate a tenant's lease for certain alleged violations by the tenant unless the landlord provides the tenant with at least 14 days’ notice and the opportunity to cure the alleged violation. (3) Specifies that a landlord that seeks to terminate for any reason a lease for:

Habitability Standards:
Indiana Senate Bill 422 (click for more info)
Habitability standards. Allows a tenant to terminate a rental agreement if the landlord fails to deliver the rental premises under certain conditions and requires the landlord to return to the tenant any amounts previously paid to the landlord. Requires notice to a tenant regarding lease termination to include a statement about failure to pay fees. Provides that notice is not required to terminate a formal or informal lease in certain situations.

Inspections of Rental Properties:
Indiana House Bill 1372 (click for more info)
Provides that a political subdivision shall establish and enforce a program for inspecting and registering rental units.

We will keep you posted on the upcoming committee hearing and alert you if action is needed if these controversial bills make it out of committee.

There are a number of bills, both good and bad, that we are tracking which have committee hearings scheduled in the upcoming week. INstateREIA our affiliates will continue to monitor these bills and work with stakeholders to improve them, but please be on the lookout for action alerts!

Below are some of the committee hearings that have already been scheduled for the week. More committees will also be added through the week.

Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications:
Indiana House Bill 1347
Utility Bills An amendment is being added to this bill and it will be heard again. Will let everyone know of time and place.

Inspection of Rental Properties:
Indiana House Bill 1372 
Has been referred to committee on Local Government.

Habitability Standards:
Indiana Senate Bill 422
Has been referred to committee on Judiciary
Committee will hear this bill Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. est.

Submitted by: Alicia Ortez, Legislative Chairman Indiana State REIA

Excerpt From Our Quarterly Newsletter, March 2019:

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