Moed says Indiana House has passed bill providing some landlord accountability

February 3, 2014 Justin Moed

For immediate release:
Feb. 3, 2014

STATEHOUSE – Legislation approved today in the Indiana House takes a giant step toward enabling cities like Indianapolis to proceed with programs that demand accountability from landlords, according to State Rep. Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis).

House Bill 1403, which now advances to the Indiana Senate for consideration, provides the framework for communities across the state to create registries that list landlords of rental properties throughout cities and towns.

Such rights had been taken from municipalities through legislation passed over Moed’s objections during the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly.

After the passage of that change, Moed and neighborhood activists across the state began advocating for the need to restore the ability for communities to maintain the registries. That point of view found support among an increasing number of lawmakers, which led to the changes contained in House Bill 1403.

“At the heart of this discussion is a desire for local units of government to have a general idea who to contact when there are concerns about a property,” Moed said. “If there are problems with upkeep, or there has been some sort of damage done, or even if a house on the property has been the scene of some catastrophe, then it would be nice to know who we can contact to assume responsibility.

“These are particularly acute concerns when the property is owned by someone who is from another state,” he continued. “We want to create a situation where there is a name and a face to put to each property.”

Moed noted that Indianapolis City-County Councillors John Barth, Zach Adamson and Jeff Miller have been working on an ordinance that would create such a registry for the city.

“The ultimate goal here would be to have some sort of regulatory oversight over these properties that clearly defines accountability,” Moed said. “I believe it is an important step in ensuring that landlords behave responsibly and are good citizens for their communities.”

Such accountability is a cornerstone of the neighborhood improvement program that Moed has made an important part of his work as a state legislator.

“The bipartisanship that defined the authorship of the bill, as well as the margin of support it received in the full House, demonstrates that the priorities outlined in this bill are concerns throughout the state of Indiana, not just in urban areas like the one I represent,” he concluded.