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(INDIANAPOLIS) – A bill nullifying all local landlord-tenant ordinances is on its way to Governor Holcomb’s desk.

Indianapolis Senator Aaron Freeman (R) says there needs to be uniformity in renter laws across the state. Bloomington Senator Mark Stoops (D) argues that’s exactly what’s not needed. He says college towns like his should be able to pass ordinances limiting how many people can be crammed into one apartment.

And several senators complain discussion of the bill has been rushed. A House committee added it the day the Indianapolis City-County Council was set to enact a renters’ rights ordinance, and the bill has never had a full hearing in the Senate. Bloomington Representative Matt Pierce (D) charges legislators abdicated their responsibility and let special interests write the legislation.

The bill also for the first time bans landlords from retaliating against residents who complain, to them or to the health department, about living conditions. But opponents contend that provision is flawed as well, since landlords could win legal fees if a tenant goes to court and loses, while a tenant could only collect a month’s rent. Denver Representative Ethan Manning (R) says that’s an improvement over an Indianapolis ordinance which awards any fines to the city, not the renter.