February 24, 2020

Indianapolis Renters' Rights Proposals Could Be Nullified

The public came out in support of renters' rights at the council meeting. - Jill Sheridan WFYI

The public came out in support of renters' rights at the council meeting.

Jill Sheridan WFYI

The Indianapolis City-Council Council passed two proposals Monday night to protect the rights of renters in the city.  The move comes after a state bill was amended to restrict local governments from creating such measures.

Indiana has some of the highest rates of eviction in the country, and plans to address that issue have been laid out in Indianapolis. A package of proposals now seeks to inform tenants of their rights, expand legal assistance and penalize landlords if they are in violation of renter rights.

State lawmakers are considering a measure that would prohibit local municipalities from infringing on tenant/landlord agreements.

At Monday's council meeting, State Rep. Robin Shakleford (D-Indianapolis) says she will introduce an amendment to remove the language from the legislation.

"Indianapolis should be allowed to be a leader for tenant rights, as we work to implement these protections all over Indiana," says Shakleford. 

At the meeting, people spoke in favor of the moves to protect tenants. 

Councilor Jared Evans (D) says the proposals address root causes of some of the city’s most pressing issues.

"There’s been an awful lot of talk lately about the violence in our city and the crime.  Do you know what contributes to that? Housing instability," says Evans. 

The two proposals passed, but it’s unclear what may happen if parts are nullified due to a state statute to further protect landlords.

A majority of states have passed laws to protect renters.

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