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State legislature overrides Gov. Holcomb veto on bill blocking cities from regulating rental property

The bill would keep a city like Indianapolis from passing legislation to regulate rental properties or evictions.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House joined the Senate in voting to override Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of Senate Bill 148 which blocks cities from regulating rental property.

The bill would keep a city like Indianapolis from passing legislation to regulate rental properties or evictions. In 2020, Indianapolis passed a Tenants Bill of Rights which requires landlords to notify renters of their rights, set up a tenant's hotline, provide free legal help and impose fines on landlords who try to evict tenants who report unsafe living conditions. 

Mayor Joe Hogsett's office issued a statement in response to the override, which reads:

"During one of the most difficult times in our city’s history, local programming has allowed us to communicate with thousands of renters about their rights, help hundreds of tenants navigate the complicated legal system, and provide actionable steps for holding bad actor landlords accountable for taking retaliatory actions against some of our community’s most vulnerable residents. It’s disappointing to have Governor Holcomb’s veto overridden today, but we are committed to continued conversations with members of the General Assembly and the ongoing funding of the City’s Eviction Avoidance Program and Tenant Legal Assistance Project."

On Wednesday Gov. Holcomb addressed the veto override.

"In terms of bills addressing executive powers, the bare minimum is that lawmakers pass laws that are constitutional. I seek to work with them from that position," Holcomb said.

Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili also issued a statement Wednesday night: 

"Today's vote to override Governor Holcomb's veto of Senate Bill 148 unfortunately strips a much-needed resource from tens of thousands of Marion County families struggling to avoid eviction as our community navigates the economic impact of COVID-19. Over the past year, the Council has voted to provide $33.5M of support to local landlords in the form of CARES Act rental assistance; in adopting the City's Eviction Avoidance Program and Tenant Legal Assistance Project last year, our hope has been to provide a measure of support to renters as well. I believe that both tenants and landlords are best served when all parties understand their legal rights and responsibilities, and remain committed to working with all our colleagues to achieve this goal."