INDIANAPOLIS – Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement on his proposed amendments to Senate Bill (SB) 150.
“Yesterday I introduced five separate amendments to SB 150, a trailer bill to Senate Enrolled Act 148 which was voted on last week. This dangerous bill needed several significant changes to become acceptable for renters in Indiana. While every single one of my five amendments received bipartisan support, sadly, each amendment was defeated by the Republican majority.
“These amendments would have served to protect Hoosier tenants from abusive or vindictive landlords. One amendment would have clarified that differentially raising rent could be construed as retaliation under certain circumstances. Another would have protected tenants from retaliation when landlords violate any building or housing codes, not just those that materially affect the tenant’s health or safety.
“Landlords should be accountable to the law. Good landlords have reached out to me in support of these amendments because most landlords already follow these steps. When bad landlords don’t receive consequences for poor tenant treatment, both good landlords and tenants suffer.
“We provide protection for folks who report nearly all other violations of the law, why would we not provide that protection for renters? The people who live with the consequences of a landlord’s failures shouldn’t be worried about losing their home or rental costs rising if they report bad faith behavior from their landlord.
“Reporting a landlord for violating building or housing codes, regulations, or ordinances should not open up tenants to retaliatory actions. Accountability and transparency are non-negotiables in tenant-landlord relationships if we want to foster safe, healthy homes for Hoosiers. I’m very disappointed that so many of my colleagues across the aisle don’t agree with that sentiment.”