Indiana governor vetoes bill banning local rental rules

Eric Holcomb

Indiana’s governor has vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have blocked cities from regulating rental properties, which opponents said threatened existing local protections for tenants in several communities around the state.

Posted: Mar 26, 2020 10:37 AM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 10:47 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor has vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have blocked cities from regulating rental properties, which opponents said threatened existing local protections for tenants in several communities around the state.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb issued the veto Wednesday evening, just before his deadline for acting on the bill approved by GOP lawmakers in the final hours of this year’s legislative session.

Holcomb said in a veto letter that the bill’s language was “overly broad,” citing a provision that would’ve prohibited any local rules on landlord-tenant relationships beyond state law.

Holcomb also wrote that economic circumstances have changed significantly with the coronavirus outbreak since lawmakers voted on the bill March 11.

“While I understand the bill was intended to create uniformity between state and local law governing the relationship between landlords and tenants, I believe this is not the right time for such language to become law,” Holcomb wrote.

The bill emerged in late February as Republicans took up the limits backed by the Indiana Apartment Association after the Democratic-controlled Indianapolis City-County Council approved an ordinance that included allowing fines for landlords who retaliate against renters over living condition complaints.

Tenant advocates maintained the proposal would be unfair to the estimated 30%, or some 2 million, of Indiana residents living in rental housing and tilt state law heavily in favor of landlords.

The Indiana Institute for Working Families said it appreciated Holcomb’s decision.

“Compared to renters in other states, Indiana renters are already at a significant disadvantage in terms of their rights and recourse when they encounter a bad landlord,” the group said.

This year's legislative session ended March 11, but lawmakers could override the governor's veto by a simple majority through next year's session.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
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St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
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Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
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Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
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