On Monday, a last-minute amendment to SB 340 passed in the last committee hearing for the House Judiciary committee for this session. The amendment dramatically changes Indiana Landlord/Tenant Law. These harmful changes will stop the current effort in Indianapolis (and possibly other cities) to address the serious rental habitability problems, lack of adequate representation of tenants, and landlord retaliation that occurs when tenants complain about violations of law.
However, SB 340 goes even further. The bill:
- Bans Indiana cities from requiring that tenants be provided information on their legal rights.
- Decreases cities’ ability to address disclosure and retaliation violations through fines, allowing more types of tenant retaliation to occur when contacting the health department or legal services
- Awards landlords sued for retaliation, who are successful in court, attorney fees plus damages, while winning tenants only get to stay in the unit under the existing terms and receive just one month of rent, while absorbing all of their legal fees associated with the retaliation case
- Favors landlords’ rights overwhelmingly over tenants’ rights at a time when Indiana is already seeing an eviction crisis fueled by affordability and habitability concerns
SB 340 could be going to the House floor vote as early as this Thursday (2/27)! If it passes the House, it seems likely the Senate will support the changes, and the bill will go right to the Governor for signature. To STOP this harmful bill from becoming law, we need your help!
Please contact your House rep and urge a NO vote on SB 340. Don’t know who your House rep is? You can find that info by entering your address under Find Politicians on our Advocacy Action Center. Make phone calls and send emails ASAP, please!
What to say? Speak from your heart on why this legislation should be stopped. Or, if you need any idea, you could say:
Please vote No on SB 340. The changes to his bill will harm housing options for far too many in our state. Indiana tenants already face significant barriers in their housing options due to lack of affordability, habitability issues, retaliation by bad acting landlords, and lack of legal representation to understand their rights. This bill goes too far in taking options away by cities in ensuring safe housing options. Please vote No!
Please act today! For your info, attached is the amendment that was made to SB 340.
Info on SB 340: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/340
Some recent press on SB 340 and Indianapolis’ new Housing Initiative, which SB 340 would immediately pre-empt: