State Lawmaker Introduces Legislation to Expand Tenant Rights

Lease AgreementMore than a quarter off all Indiana residents rent their homes, according to Democratic State Senator Eddie Melton. Last month, Melton filed a new piece of proposed legislation that’s designed to protect Indiana’s renters by giving them more legal leverage in disputes with landlords.

If approved, Senate Bill 524 would make a few notable changes to Indiana’s landlord-tenant law.

Under the terms of the proposed legislation, tenants would have 14 days—up from the current limit of 10 days—to pay past-due rent before a landlord could terminate their lease. Furthermore, landlords would be required to give renters at least 14 days’ notice in writing and an opportunity to correct lease violations before initiating eviction proceedings.

Landlords would also be required to give renters 48 hours’ notice before entering their rental units, and at least 60 days’ written notice before raising rent or making other changes to a rental agreement. Currently, landlords must only give 30 days’ notice before modifying a rental agreement.

If Senate Bill 524 is approved, tenants would also be legally allowed to withhold rent in the event that landlords fail to repair and maintain “essential services” that are required to keep the property safe and habitable. Finally, the bill would establish an Indiana Eviction and Prevention program designed to reduce the number of evictions statewide.

It’s currently unclear how much support the bill among other state lawmakers, and it’s still in the early stages of review by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Technology. You can view the complete list of proposed changes in Senate Bill 524 here.

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