In Indiana rental property owners have banned together with representative Rep.Woody Burton to to introduce HB 1347 into legislation.The bill was signed by On April 25, 2019, by Governor Eric Holcomb. The bill was introduced to stop municipally owned and operated utility companies from collecting delinquent utility bills from rental property owners that were incurred by former tenants.

The bill was met with bipartisan support. The Indiana State Real Estate Investors Association (INStateREIA) was formed as a non-profit association where local and regional real estate investment groups with help from Jeff Jinks Law championed to get the legislation passed.

Bargersville, Indiana had passed a law that allowed municipally owned utility companies to obtain payment from rental property owners when their tenants were delinquent on their utility bills.  This started the ball rolling for other local governments to join in and pass the same legislation. Calling for a statewide solution.

There were two main problems with this ordinance many of the rental property owners were not from Bargersville, IN which started the ordinance and couldn’t vote for or against the ordinance. Also most of town council members were also on the board of the municipal utility creating a conflict of interest. The legislation will prevent these utility companies from coming after rental property owners.  Municipalities are unfortunately, pushing back against the new law stating they interpret the law differently.  They stated new laws like these can be hard to implement.  Indiana has some 377,000 rental property owners to give some perspective of the enormity of the situation which contributes $652,050,592 of yearly tax revenue.

Key Points:

  • 1A new law, HB 1347, was signed on April 25, 2019 by Governor Eric Holcomb which gives relief to this who rent properties in Indiana.
  • 2Some are against this bill, such as town council members who are also board members of the utility company.
  • 3The law was intended to protect against utility companies coming after rental property owners.

The legislation is intended to prohibit the utilities from coming after property owners, in regards to the delinquent accounts.