The Indiana General Assembly finally passed clarifying language on occupancy standards.
If you’ve had to battle this issue with prospective tenants applying for your property, crack open an adult libation to celebrate. This new language offers you better protection from Fair Housing lawsuits alleging discrimination due to disparate impact against families with children.
Beginning on July 1, 2017 the below state-wide occupancy standard will go into effect.
Sec. 7. (a) The residential landlord-tenant statute (as defined in IC 32-31-2.9-2) does not prohibit an owner or landlord from refusing to rent a rental unit on the basis of a reasonable occupancy standard.
(b) For purposes of this section, an occupancy standard is presumed reasonable if:
(1) it permits two (2) individuals per bedroom; and
(2) the owner or landlord:
9100 Keystone Crossing, Ste 725, Indianapolis, IN 46240
(A) does not include infants less than one (1) year of age in the individuals per bedroom count under subdivision (1);
(B) increase the number of individuals per unit by considering whether the configuration of a unit includes a:
(iii) finished basement; or
that could reasonably be used as a sleeping area, unless doing so would violate applicable state and local codes, including fire codes.
(c) An owner or landlord is not required to consider a kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, hallway, or closet as a sleeping area.
As always, it is best to consult qualified legal counsel on such issues as this isn’t legal advice in this article.
So when in doubt, dial up your favorite attorney and have a chat.