updated: 6/20/2007 11:06:42 AM
A new law that will take effect July 1 requires landlords to give their tenants reasonable notice before entering a rental unit. Current Indiana law allows landlords to enter a rented apartment or home at any time without notification. The new law also covers how property that's been abandoned by a tenant should be dealt with. The landlord will be required to store the property in a location approved by a court. After 90 days, property can be placed up for auction, with the proceeds being used to pay the costs of storage. When a tenant has clearly abandoned property such as broken furniture, the bill gives landlords greater flexibility to dispose of it.
Source: Inside INdiana Business
INDIANAPOLIS – Renters across Indiana will gain additional privacy rights on July 1, thanks to a new law authored by State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington).
The new law requires a landlord to give a tenant reasonable notice before entering a rental unit. It marks the first substantial improvement in renters’ rights in Indiana in years and ends Pierce’s five-year legislative effort to protect tenants’ privacy.
“Current Indiana law allows landlords to enter someone’s rented apartment or home at any time without notification,” Pierce said. “It surprises people that tenants in Indiana have no protections against unannounced visits at all hours of the day or night. The law that will take effect on July 1 finally provides an expectation of privacy.”
The new law will require a landlord to provide reasonable notice before entering a rental unit. Pierce has heard many complaints from renters about unannounced visits at all hours for routine repairs or to show the unit to potential new tenants. Landlords will now only be able to enter a renter’s dwelling at reasonable times with prior notice. They will be prevented from abusing this right of entry to harass a tenant.
“The new law recognizes a landlord’s right to enter a property without notice whenever there is an emergency,” Pierce said. “Obviously, whenever there is a major problem such as burst pipes flooding an apartment, the landlord should be free to get into the apartment as soon as possible to make the repairs that are necessary to protect the property.”
A second provision of the new law covers the disposition of property that has been abandoned by a tenant, according to Pierce.
“In those situations where an eviction is taking place or it is unclear if property has been left behind by a tenant, the landlord will have to store the property in a location that has been approved by a court,” Pierce said. “After 90 days, unclaimed property can be placed up for auction, with the proceeds being used to pay the costs of storage.”
When a tenant has clearly abandoned property such as broken furniture, the bill gives landlords greater flexibility to dispose of the property.
Since he was first elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2002, Pierce has made tenant rights one of his top legislative priorities. The lawmaker represents an area where a large number of Indiana University students live in rental properties.
“There is a tendency to think that renters do not deserve to have the same kind of rights that property owners have, but the old saying about your home being your castle should be true whether you write the monthly check to a mortgage company or a landlord,” Pierce concluded.
Source: Indiana House Democratic Caucus