Last year, the Marion County City-Council passed a landlord registration ordinance requiring all owners of residential rental property in Marion County (except properties located in excluded cities and towns) to register with the Department of Code Enforcement by March 31, 2015. The registration process is fairly simple and costs $5 per landlord (not per property). The process takes about 20 minutes and requires the registrant to affirm that there are no delinquent taxes on the rental property and that it is not subject to any “unremediated citations of violations of the state and local codes and ordinances.” Registration is performed at: http://permitsandcases.indy.gov/citizenAccess/ Although the registration process is easy, the site has some bugs that hopefully will be worked out this year. For example, registrants still cannot amend their property listings. It’s imperative to register or you could be subject to a $500 fine. In addition, registration must be renewed annually.
While the ordinance specifically provides that no inspection program will be implemented to enforce its provisions, don’t expect Code Enforcement to maintain such an innocuous position long-term. One particularly troubling portion of the ordinance is the requirement to list the number of rental units in a building. Many older properties in Marion County have rental units that exceed the number permitted by the applicable zoning district. The registration system enables the Department of Code Enforcement (or the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission if the property is in a historic district) to easily target non-conforming properties that lack LNCUs or variances. Time will only tell the extent to which the City enforces this ordinance.
If you have questions about the landlord registry, please feel free to contact us for assistance.