Rental Fee Caps Apply To All Indiana Cities After State Supreme Court Ruling

Mar 15, 2019

Rental property owners in Bloomington and West Lafayette can no longer charge rental fees greater than $5 per tenant.

That’s after a state Supreme Court ruling Friday.

A 2014 state law capped rental registration and inspection fees at $5 per unit. But it carved out Bloomington, West Lafayette and Hammond – only it seems lawmakers didn’t mean to include Hammond, because they took away that city’s exemption a year later.

Hammond sued; it argued the state Constitution’s ban on “special legislation” – laws that apply only to a specific group – makes the exemptions for Bloomington and West Lafayette unconstitutional. And it asked the court to throw out the rental fee cap, too.

The Supreme Court agrees with Hammond, in part. Chief Justice Loretta Rush writes that Bloomington and West Lafayette do not deserve special treatment under the law. But her decision does not strike down the fee caps – meaning those limits now apply to every municipality statewide, including Bloomington and West Lafayette.