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Indiana groups attempt to kill bill giving more power to landlords

Three hundred community, fair housing and civil rights groups are calling on legislators to kill a bill giving more power to landlords.

A late-arriving amendment in the House would nullify any local ordinances on landlord-tenant relationships, from evictions to criteria for screening renters.

Fair housing groups argue Indiana landlords are already among the nation’s most aggressive in pursuing evictions. They warn the bill would leave tenants little protection against bad landlords.

The bill bans landlords from retaliating against renters who make complaints. But the Indianapolis Urban League points out tenants who take a retaliation case to court could only win a month’s rent, while the property owner could collect legal fees.

A House-Senate negotiating committee has until Wednesday to decide whether to keep, modify or drop the provision.

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