September 14, 2023

Indianapolis renters file numerous complaints to the State Attorney General

Attorney General Todd Rokita (left) joined other leaders to help renters resolve habitability issues last year. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Attorney General Todd Rokita (left) joined other leaders to help renters resolve habitability issues last year. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Indianapolis renters submitted more than 70 habitability complaints against a single property company to Indiana’s Attorney General’s office.

Kittle Property Group owns all three properties, and complaints range from broken elevators to black mold. 

The Indiana Tenant Association helped residents file the complaints, and Director Laurin Embry said this is another case of a negligent landlord.

“How long can a bad actor corporate investor essentially destroy Indiana's affordable housing stock and move on without being held accountable,” Embry said.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office has a recent record of enforcing renters rights and recently banned a property owner from Indiana.

Kittle Property Group owns multiple properties in multiple states. It offers senior, workforce and affordable housing at some apartment complexes. Embry said it has a track record of not addressing habitability issues.

Some lawmakers and housing advocates have long pointed to weak state laws that favor landlord rights over tenants. And there are many examples of out-of-state landlords taking advantage of those laws. Embry said Indiana Attorney Todd Rokita has an opportunity to bring change.

“I hope that during this upcoming legislative session, we can count on him as an ally, to encourage our general assembly to do the right thing,” Embry said

The three properties listed in the complaint are The Reserve at White River, Lynhurst Park Apartments and Lafayette Landing. All are on the west side.

Other issues named in the complaints include broken security gates, malfunctioning elevators, smoke detectors not working, trash and trespassing.

Advocates have lobbied for Indiana to adopt rent escrow policies at the statehouse. Indiana is one of five that do not allow residents to pay rent through courts while waiting for habitability issues to be resolved.

Kittle Property Group did not respond to an email requesting comment.

Want to learn more about how to research property owners before you rent in Indiana? Click here.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org

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