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Mandatory Landlord Registration for Indianapolis Rentals (AKA can of Whoop-Ass)

In 2013, the winds shifted.  And badly.

Last year, I warned about the political subdivisions REQUIRING rental registration for Landlords.  2

Even the local trade associations such as the Indiana Association of REALTORS® (IAR) nor Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS® (MIBOR) with extensive RPAC lobbying money and efforts failed to stop a “minimal impacting” piece of government over-reach into real property rights.

The intent of this legislation is to go after the bad apple slumlords, but if you take 3 minutes and are capable of converting oxygen into carbon dioxide without hurting yourself, you can immediately assess that this new code opens a whole can of whoop-ass on Landlords–even the good ones–with future legislation certain to revoke even more sticks from the bundle of rights that previously made the USA one of the free capitalist markets in the world.  The intrusion of this is too much for this first post…more to come along with an FAQ of what this legislation means in the immediate future.

 

 

Here’s the Proposed Legislation:

{Click on the link below to open the entire PDF document in a new window.}

Landlord Registry Proposal

CITY-COUNTY GENERAL ORDINANCE NO. , 2014

PROPOSAL FOR A GENERAL ORDINANCE to amend the Revised Code by adding a new Chapter 851 establishing the Indianapolis-Marion County Landlord Registration Program.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY-COUNTY COUNCIL OF THE

CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS AND OF MARION COUNTY, INDIANA:

SECTION 1. “The Revised Code of the Consolidated City and County” is hereby amended by adding a new Chapter 851, to read as follows:

CHAPTER 851 – INDIANAPOLIS-MARION COUNTY

LANDLORD REGISTRATION PROGRAM

Sec. 851-101. Program established.

The Indianapolis-Marion County Landlord Registration Program is hereby established.

Sec. 851-102. Authority.

Effective June 30, 2014, House Enrolled Act No. 1403 (2014) allows political subdivisions to establish and enforce registration and inspection programs for rental units within the political subdivision, subject to certain conditions and limitations.

Sec. 851-103. Definitions.

(a) “Landlord” has the meaning set forth in IC 32-31-3-3.

(b) “Owner” has the meaning set forth in IC 32-31-3-4.

(c) “Person” has the meaning set forth in IC 32-31-3-5.

(d) “Rental agreement” has the meaning set forth in IC 32-31-3-7.

(e) “Rental unit” has the meaning set forth in IC 32-31-3-8.

(f) “Rental unit community” has the meaning set forth in IC 36-1-20-1.5 (effective June 30, 2014).

(g) “Manager” means any person, not the record owner, who has possession and control of the property, or who has the right to possession and control of the property, or the responsibility for maintenance of the property.

Sec. 851-104. Registration Program.

(a) Beginning on July 1, 2014, all owners or landlords of rental units within the county must register with the Department of Code Enforcement (“DCE”) on a form prescribed by DCE. The registration form shall include the following:

1) the name, telephone number, and address of the owner(s);

2) if the owner is not an Indiana resident, the name, telephone number, and address of an Indiana resident who is the manager for the rental units;

3) an affirmation that the rental units, and any other property titled or registered under the same owner, are not in violation of any applicable Code requirements;

4) an affirmation that there are no delinquent taxes or fees owed on this property, or any other property titled or registered under the same owner;

5) a form rental agreement, if one exists;

6) an affirmation that a standard list of tenant rights provided by DCE will be given to any tenants occupying the property at the onset of each new lease agreement; and

7) a statement of the number of rental units on each separate parcel of real property covered by the registration.

(b) Beginning on January 1, 2015, an owner or landlord of a rental unit must pay to DCE an initial registration fee of five dollars ($5). Only one registration fee is required for all rental units in a rental unit community. If a rental unit is not part of a rental unit community, a separate registration fee must be paid for each separate parcel of real property on which a rental unit is located, unless they are all registered at the same time.

(c) In the event of a change of ownership, the new owner must, not later than thirty (30) days after the change of ownership, pay the registration fee of five dollars ($5) and provide updated registration information to DCE.

(d) After the initial registration, an owner or landlord must, on an annual basis, either verify that the initial information has not changed, or update the information as needed. There is no fee for this annual renewal.

(e) Upon submission of an acceptable registration form, DCE shall issue a permit to the rental unit’s owner or landlord. Only one (1) permit is required for a rental unit community. A permit does not expire unless there is a change of ownership of the real property.

Sec. 851-105. Inspection Program.

(a) Although no proactive inspection program will be implemented at this time, tenants will be given a standard list of tenant rights and may contact DCE regarding compliance issues.

(b) Notwithstanding IC 36-1-20-4.1(c), DCE may inspect a rental unit if it receives a complaint that the rental unit does not comply with applicable Code requirements. If an inspection of a rental unit reveals a violation of applicable Code requirements, the owner of the rental unit may be subject to a penalty as provided in Section 851-107 of this Chapter.

Sec. 851-106. Landlord Registration Fund.

There is hereby created a special fund, to be designated as the “Landlord Registration Fund.” This fund shall be a continuing, non-reverting fund, with all balances remaining therein at the end of the year, and such balances shall not revert to the city or county general funds. The controller shall deposit in this fund all fees assessed and collected pertaining exclusively to a rental unit or rental unit community. This fund shall be dedicated solely to reimbursing the costs actually incurred relating to the imposition and amount of the fee.

Sec. 851-107. Penalties and Enforcement.

(a) Failure to submit the initial registration form by January 1, 2015 as required by Section 851-104 is subject to admission of violation and payment of a civil penalty for each rental unit community in violation in an amount provided in Section 103-52 of the Code.

(b) Failure to update the registration within 30 days of a change in ownership as required by Section 851-104 is subject to admission of violation and payment of a civil penalty for each rental unit community in violation in an amount provided in Section 103-52 of the Code.

(c) Failure to allow inspection of a rental unit as required by Section 851-105 is subject to admission of violation and payment of a civil penalty in an amount provided in Section 103-52 of the Code.

(d) In addition to civil penalties, DCE may seek injunctive relief to enforce the provisions of this Chapter.

(e) The penalties allowed under subsections (a) through (c) may not be imposed until after:

1) reasonable notice has been given to the owner or the owner’s designee;

2) passage of a reasonable time, which must be stated in the notice, for the violation to be cured; and

3) failure of the violation to be cured within the time stated in the notice.

SECTION 2. Section 103-52 of the “Revised Code of the Consolidated City and County,” regarding civil penalties for ordinance violations is hereby amended by the addition of the underscored language, to read as follows:

Sec. 103-52. Schedule of Code provisions and penalties.

The following Code (or ordinance) provisions and their respective civil penalties are designated for enforcement through the ordinance violations bureau: Code Section Subject Matter Civil Penalty
293-321 Failure to file economic statement of interest–First offense 50.00
321-1 Swimming in unguarded waters – first offense in calendar year 50.00
361-108 Littering on premises of another 45.00
361-201 Vehicle losing its load–First offense in calendar year 50.00
391-302 Unlawful noise–First offense in calendar year 50.00
407-103 Loitering–First offense in calendar year 50.00
407-201 Unlawful fireworks use, ignition or discharge–First offense 100.00
431-108 Parking prohibited for street repairs and cleaning 20.00
431-314 Premises address violation–Second offense in calendar year 25.00
431-602 Bicycles–Second violation in a twelve-month period regarding children under twelve 50.00
431-603 Unlawful operation of bicycle–First violation in a twelve-month period 50.00
431-604 Unattended bicycle or bicycle not in operation—First violation in a twelve-month period 50.00
431-604 Unattended bicycle or bicycle not in operation—Second violation in a twelve-month period 100.00
431-604 Unattended bicycle or bicycle not in operation—Third violation in a twelve-month period 200.00
431-702 Prohibited activity in roadways–First violation in twelve-month period 25.00
431-703 Interference with vehicular traffic–First violation in twelve-month period 25.00
441-108 Pedestrian violations 12.50
441-214 Parking when temporarily prohibited 20.00
441-318 Unlawful use of horn or sounding device 15.00
441-363 Unlawfully parked trailer 20.00
441-374 Bicycle path or lane—First violation in a twelve-month period 50.00
441-407 Display of unauthorized traffic controls 15.00
441-408 Interference with traffic control devices 15.00
441-503 Consumption or possession by operator of motor vehicle–First offense in calendar year 50.00
441-504 Operating motor vehicle containing open alcoholic beverages–First offense in calendar year 50.00
511-702 Open burning 50.00
531-102 Animal at large–First offense in twelve-month period 50.00
531-202 No dog or cat permanent identification–First offense 50.00
531-202 No dog or cat permanent identification–Second and subsequent offenses 100.00
531-301 No dog or cat antirabies vaccination–First offense 100.00
531-302 No antirabies vaccination tag on dog or cat–First offense in twelve-month period 25.00
531-302 No antirabies vaccination record for feral cat colony–First offense in twelve-month period 25.00
611-403 Unlawful loading or unloading of private bus 15.00
611-501 Unlawful stopping of food vendor vehicle 15.00
611-502 Violation of noise restriction on food vendors 15.00

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