Household Finances, Random Thoughts

Valparaiso Indiana Apartment Rules Create Opportunities

March 27, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

A new city ordinance proposed by Valparaiso Indiana’s Common Council  will place tight controls over how landlords conduct their business within the city.

Apartment Building_1_BySteveCardwellThrowing The Book At Landlords

The 24 page document currently under review, will set up the Valparaiso Building Commissioner as czar over every rental unit in the city. Each unit will be required to register with the city, pay a fee, and provide contact information about owners, managers, and their tenants.

The stated purpose of the ordinance is:

  • Adherence to building codes–adequate lighting, ventilation, emergency egress, proper electrical & plumbing
  • To protect the character and stability along with the value of land and buildings
  • Correct housing conditions that adversely affect health and safety
  • Prevent overcrowding– too many people living in a unit designed for a certain family size
  • Enforce minimum standards to prevent slums and blight

City inspectors will have the power to access any rental property to conduct compliance inspections. And an aggressive set of fines, up to $2,500 go to any property owners or their tenants who does not cooperate. Owners who reside beyond the contiguous counties neighboring Porter, will be required to have a designated local go-to manager who will be responsible for maintenance and compliance.

The plan spells out who can be considered a “family” and sets per-person minimum square footage requirements for rental units and sleeping rooms. Concerned citizens can turn-in to the city, any residential unit that observer might consider in breach of the ordinance and city inspections can make pre-arranged visits.

The Opposition

While this all sounds like the good people of Valparaiso are merely taking pride in their city, landlords, on the other hand, are crying “foul”. They say these regulations are unnecessary and bureaucratic. The regulations take away their rights to do as they deem necessary and how they run their business. And they are afraid they may be blamed for nuisances created by their tenants which are already covered under existing laws. For owners of larger projects with many units, the owners could quickly end up in the top tier of violators and face many thousands of dollars in fines. The Indiana Apartment Association opposes the high fees and initial inspection of every unit. GNIAR, the Realtor’s association, has also written a letter to members of the Common Council opposing any such regulations as an intrusion on rights of property owners generally.

Rental regulations are a hot topic among municipalities. Munster Indiana had to modify theirs last year after a review by attorneys determined that requiring a tenants Social Security number was violation of federal law. Munster also adopted language from Schaumburg, Illinois, allowing landlords a means to break their lease and evict tenants who were convicted of a crime. Hammond Indiana code enforcement is grappling with landlords registering one unit, but collecting rent from as many as six individuals. Chicago is looking at making the process of how security deposits are refunded and to wants make these policies uniform. The Valparaiso ordinance is similar to the one used in West Lafayette, where many different types of rental properties make up the Purdue student housing market.

Opportunity For Valparaiso Indiana Real Estate Entrepreneurs

Do YOU know any Valparaiso University  students or student families? There will be turnover as landlords re-configure property portfolios. More regulation will mean higher rents as landlords pass along their increased compliance costs. Families with students attending Valparaiso University, as well as other investors may want to take a look at the multi-unit and the rooms-to-let housing market that this new set of circumstances will create. By planning ahead for the Fall term, those in the know will be looking to invest in Valparaiso Indiana real estate to save on their student housing. As is common in Lafayette Indiana, rental properties and homes will be traded. By researching properties now you may get the jump on a solid cash-generating business opportunity.

Speak with James at GVC Mortgage to explore your financing options; and talk with Steve to help locate those ideal properties which will help begin your student housing investment portfolio.

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Steve Cardwell

Steve Cardwell is an Indiana Realtor working with residential buyers and sellers throughout Northwest Indiana. He likes to stay current on the housing market by analyzing real estate trends with a focus on the towns of Highland and Munster Indiana. His broker affiliation is Red Key Realty Leaders in St John, Indiana. Learn more about Steve and visit

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5 Responses to “Valparaiso Indiana Apartment Rules Create Opportunities”
  1. If you are a home owner in Valparaiso Indiana who no longer wants to be a landlord, you might consider marketing your home for sale to students of Valparaiso University. Students could potentially buy these homes with non-occupying parents and be able to buy down with as little as 3.5% down and historic low mortgage rates.

  2. Getting stricter but at least it would mean safer apartments to live in.

  3. Getting stricter but at least it would mean safer apartments to live in.

  4. interesting .. i gotta check this one .. but i think it is very nice because it is beautiful in the outside ..

  5. ahh… very nice mr. barath .. now i know what i will gonna do by that. .. thanks a lot ..

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