NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Homeowners arrived on Tuesday with the load of the bus to the Capitol. They are fighting the bill that they say takes away their right to protect their neighborhoods.
Homeowners associations establish many rules such as the color of your home and the type of fence you can have. Now some homeowner associations are laying down rules to prevent owners from renting their homes or condominiums.
On the other side there is a rental sector and legislators who claim that owners have the right to rent.
Linda Southergill lives in Spring Hill in a subdivision that she thinks is turning into mostly rented houses.
“At this point, I’m at 38% or more of commercial rents. This has a big impact on the neighborhood,” he said.
It’s not just in Spring Hill. Real estate records show that in many communities in Tennessee, large corporations based outside the state buy homes and convert them to rental homes.
Some HOAs are trying to stop the trend; if they don’t already have rules prohibiting rentals, they are writing them now.
Some lawmakers say HOAs shouldn’t be allowed to change the rules for people who bought houses under the old rules.
“What about the property rights of the person who owns the property in a HOA legally, in full respect of the HOA, and uses it as a rental property generating income for his family?” Said Senator Jack Johnson, R-Franklin .
Johnson stressed that if a homeowner has rented a long-term tenant and that tenant’s lease has expired, the tenant should move, even if the tenant and owner both wish to renew the lease.
Committee members approved the bill limited to HOA’s power to limit rentals. The bill now passes to other committees.
“It’s not fair. It takes away the right of the HOAs, which are homeowners, to govern themselves, to say what will happen with their investment,” said Southergill.
The proposed bill does not affect short-term rentals, such as AirBnBs. Only rentals that last 180 days or more would be affected.