Indiana Bill Would Lessen Multifamily Inspection Fees, Restrictions
Digested from NWI Times, Northwest Indiana
A bill under consideration in Indiana would permit professional rental property owners to avoid municipal inspections and associated fees by hiring their own qualified private inspectors. The sponsor of House Bill 1403, state Rep. Jud McMillin (R), said local governments often are overwhelmed by their inspection programs and private inspections may actually be conducted more often than city inspections. The Republican-controlled Indiana House passed the bill Feb. 3 by a 67-28 vote.
The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would also limit inspections to specific apartment features and structures; localities would not be permitted to add items to the inspection list. The proposal limits registration fees to $5 per property, but does not cap inspection fees. "The No. 1 issue is to get safe housing in these communities, and this bill allows it better than in the past," said state Rep. Rick Niemeyer (R), who supported the legislation in committee.
McMillin’s proposal is backed by the Indiana Apartment Association, which opposes local apartment registration fees that are assessed per unit, such as Hammond's $80 annual charge. An association staff member said a $5 per property fee would be more appropriate. In addition, if the measure becomes law, several Northwest Indiana cities that have combined rental registration and inspection programs likely will have to separate them because the former is capped but the latter is not.