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City-County Council approves landlord registry

August 23, 2014

The Indianapolis City-County Council on Aug. 18 passed an ordinance creating the city’s first landlord registry, but Mayor Greg Ballard hasn’t committed to signing it.

Mayoral spokesman Marc Lotter said the mayor, Department of Code Enforcement director and city legal team would review the language in the proposal, which passed the council 16-11. The favorable vote came from the Democratic majority, plus Republicans Virginia Cain, Will Gooden and Jeff Miller.

Landlords would have to register with the city by Jan. 1 or face a $500 fine. Enforcement of the registry requirement will be complaint-driven.

The ordinance is the product of state legislation this year that effectively shut down rental-property inspection programs but left municipalities the option of creating registries. As required under the law, the registration fee will not exceed $5, but there are heavy penalties for failing to sign up.

Under the ordinance, owners of rental units must provide their names, telephone numbers and addresses. Those who aren’t Indiana residents must provide the same information for an in-state property manager.

The registration will require affirmation that the rental units and any other property titled to the owner are not violating city code. Landlords also must attest there is not more than one delinquent tax payment associated with their properties. Finally, the registration must state the number of rental units on each parcel of property.

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