INDIANAPOLIS | A House committee gave the go-ahead Tuesday for a revised plan allowing rental property owners to exempt their units from inspection by local government officials.
House Bill 1403, which was approved 7-5 and now goes to the full chamber, still permits cities and towns to require rental property inspections, registrations and associated fees.
But landlords could avoid paying most of those fees by hiring a qualified private company to do the inspections instead.
"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-Lowell, who supports the legislation.
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 proposal limits registration fees to $5 per property. It does not cap inspection fees.
State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, who voted against the measure, said it's still unclear how landlords would advise cities that they intend to have a private inspection.
The sponsor, state Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, said property owners will act quickly if they want to opt out of municipal inspection, because they remain subject to it until a private inspection is completed.