Homeowners urge lawmakers to veto bill allowing businesses to buy and rent homes in their neighborhood

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A House bill is pitting homeowners against corporate property companies that are trying to buy and rent homes.

The steady sound of a lawn being mowed is the type of serenity Chandra Lipscomb always dreamed about when it came to her retirement. Now, she’s worried that could soon change.

“It makes it very difficult, especially if we have more and more renters than homeowners, it’s just a smaller number of people who really care about the community,” said Lipscomb.

House Bill 1127 would allow corporate companies or businesses to purchase any home and list it for long-term rent. It’s causing headaches with community members who worry more renters could mean less care for certain properties.

“It was beautiful, it was green, there was no trash, people cleaned up after their dogs. We see that happening less and less,” said Lipscomb.

District 32 Councilwoman Joy Styles explains the bill would allow corporate companies to buy homes and remove the authority of homeowners associations that protect the communities’ investments.

The bill would limit the number of short or long-term rental properties in neighborhoods. Styles describes it as violating “individual property rights if you live within a homeowners association. It would hurt the amount of money you could potentially make when selling your home if there becomes more rentals in the neighborhood than homeowners.”

Styles explains rules centered around parking, landscaping, and maintenance that you would find within most HOAs would be hard to follow for renters since they report to a company instead of the HOA.

“A corporation does not understand a neighborhood’s needs, nor do they make sure that the governing rules have been distributed to the people that come in as renters. So oftentimes what you get are people that are disrespectful to the rules.”

Now, Styles is encouraging her community email their state representative to vote against the bill.

“If you have a home and you’ve been living there 10-15 years, and this company can come in and buy 15 homes over a period of time in your community that may be a good percentage of your subdivision, and what ultimately will happen is the more homes they buy in your subdivision the more votes they will be able to have,” explained Styles.

She says it’s all about protecting the rights of HOAs, and worries the bill could lead to a waste in real estate and fewer people investing in the community.

The final vote is set for Monday. If approved, it could take effect as early as May 1, 2021.

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