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After a bill was passed into law, Indiana renters can now apply to have their eviction records removed



Indianapolis, Indiana – The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and job market has left many Americans struggling to keep a roof over their heads, leading to a surge in housing insecurity and eviction rates across the country. Despite various government interventions and relief efforts, the situation remains dire for millions of families and individuals who are facing mounting debt and the threat of homelessness. From rural towns to urban centers, the housing and eviction crisis has become a looming social and economic problem that demands urgent attention and comprehensive solutions from policymakers and community leaders alike.

What was happening before the pandemic and how the pandemic affected both renters and tenants

Before COVID-19, America already had an affordable housing shortage, especially for low-income renters. According to Vox, more than 10 million renter households spent more than half of their income on rent in 2018, leaving them vulnerable to economic shocks and eviction threats. Many renters also faced poor housing quality, discrimination, displacement, and homelessness.

The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the situation for millions of renters who lost their jobs or income due to lockdowns, business closures, and health risks. Without adequate federal, state, or local assistance, many renters fell behind on their rent payments and accumulated debt. The Aspen Institute estimated that 30 to 40 million people were at risk of eviction by the end of 2020.

The eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September 2020 was meant to prevent mass evictions and protect public health during the pandemic. However, it was challenged by landlords and property owners who argued that it violated their rights and interests. The Supreme Court struck down the moratorium in August 2021, leaving millions of renters without protection.

The eviction crisis has disproportionate impacts on Black communities, who are more likely to be renters, face housing discrimination, have lower incomes and savings, and experience higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Black renters are also more likely to face eviction filings than white renters even when they pay their rent on time.

The eviction crisis also affects landlords, especially small property owners who rely on rental income to pay their mortgages, taxes, maintenance costs, and utilities. Without sufficient financial relief or rent collection from tenants, many landlords face foreclosure or bankruptcy. This could reduce the supply of affordable rental housing in the long term.

The federal government has already halted most of the programs that were enforced during the pandemic as part of their strategy to combat insecurity and poverty. The housing and eviction crisis, however, is still persistent in many areas nationwide and such is the case in the state of Indiana. Having in mind all the difficulties renters faced in the past few years, the Indiana General Assembly recently confirmed passing a bill into law that would allow expungement, a process of getting renters’ eviction history removed from record. According to the bill, all types of eviction in the past can be removed from one’s record excluding evictions orders due to disorderly conduct or illegal activity.

The expungement process

If a renter has experienced an eviction in the past, the eviction can now be removed from their record by following the process per the recently passed bill. This can be achieved by filing a petition through the local court system, which may be applicable if the eviction order was dismissed, ruled in favor of the renter, or rectified by the renter. It is important to note that there is no time limit for eviction expungement, meaning any prior eviction on an individual’s record has the potential to be removed.

The new legislation is good option for landlords too

In Indiana, both renters and landlords have the opportunity to petition the courts to have an eviction removed from their records. The state’s legal system offers Fast Track Facilitation, a free settlement conference program designed to assist landlords and tenants with resolving disputes and preventing evictions. The Indiana Bar Foundation provides additional resources for renters seeking help with eviction expungement, including a calendar of free legal events throughout the state where renters can obtain assistance with the filing process and get answers to their questions. For more information, visit

Indiana lawmakers have passed the law to offer relief to renters who have been denied housing due to past eviction records. The new legislation aims to improve access to housing for renters with eviction records by allowing them to petition for the removal of such records from their history. Additionally, it is expected that amendments will be introduced to enhance the clarity and effectiveness of the eviction expungement process in the future, further helping renters overcome the challenges posed by past evictions.

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