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Posted on: Jul 10, 2020

New Protection of Tenants Rights Ordinance

By Russell Brown, Clark Quinn Moses Scott & Grahn LLP

On February 26, 2020, Mayor Hogsett signed Proposition Number 41, 2020 (retitled General Ordinance No. 1 2020), entitled the Protection of Tenants’ Rights for residential rental tenants in Marion County. The bulk of the ordinance took effect upon passage, with the last piece of the legislation taking effect on July 1, 2020. Effective with every tenant whose occupancy commences on or after July 1, 2020 (via a new lease or a renewal), landlords must obtain and retain a copy of the Notice of Tenant Rights and Responsibilities (the Notice). The current form, which is available in English, Spanish and Burmese, is available at indy.gov/landlordnotice.

The form of Notice may be updated from time to time by the Office of Public Health and Safety and landlords may be required to produce copies of executed versions of the Notice for all tenants upon demand from the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services or during registration/renewal with the existing Landlord Registration Program. Landlords are required to obtain a new copy of the Notice with the renewal of a residential lease. The Protection of Tenants’ Rights ordinance also included other sections related to retaliatory evictions and the inclusion of expunged/sealed criminal records as a protected status for housing decisions.  In a companion piece of legislation, the Indianapolis City County Council also established and funded a Tenant Information Hotline and provided funding to Indiana Legal Services for legal services for eviction defense work. State legislation which could have preempted portions of General Ordinance No. 1 2020 was vetoed by Governor Holcomb earlier this spring.

 

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