Habitability standards

For amend and vote only, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard Sen. Bohacek’s SB 422 on habitability standards.  The bill does the following:

  • allows a tenant to terminate a rental agreement if the landlord fails to deliver the rental premises under certain conditions and requires the landlord to return to the tenant any amounts previously paid to the landlord;
  • requires notice to a tenant regarding lease termination to include a statement about failure to pay fees; and
  • provides that notice is not required to terminate a formal or informal lease in certain situations.

At the hearing on February 13, Prosperity Indiana and the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic testified in support of the bill.  The Indiana Apartment Association and the Indiana Realtors Association testified against the bill.

At the hearing on February 20, the committee amended the bill to change “or fees” to “and fees”, remove provisions allowing a tenant to terminate a rental agreement if the landlord fails to deliver the rental premises under certain conditions, and for the landlord to return to the tenant any amounts previously paid, and provide that a court must hear a cause of action filed by a tenant to enforce an obligation of a landlord no later than 30 days after the date of filing.  The amended bill passed 5-3.

Read the bill at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/422