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Georgia Legislators Entangled in Downtown Airbnb Dispute

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Every year around this time, state legislators descend on Atlanta for a few months to say dumb things address the issues facing Georgia. With 236 members of the Georgia General Assembly and countless staffers from across the state bunking around the Capitol, demand for temporary downtown digs can be high. One of the places many stay is the Landmark Condo, located just up Piedmont Avenue from the Gold Dome. But a new leaked document shows a major scandal brewing in the building, entangling owners, legislators, the HOA board and everyone's right to rent.

Landmark is a unique condo building in that the bylaws have no rental cap restrictions. Therefore, unlike most buildings in the city, owners are free to rent their units out without fear of fines or liens. In fact, a listing last year didn't beat around the bush that the unit would be perfect for renting out.

But with Airbnb gaining popularity, the board has begun to define rentals of less than a month as a "business," despite recent legislation to the contrary. Subsequent documents claim that the new restriction, decided on behind closed doors by the condo board, unfairly infringes upon owners' rights. Now, normally, the process of limiting rentals would be accomplished by a change in the bylaws of the building, which would necessitate a vote of all the residents. The seemingly unilateral decision to limit rentals isn't sitting well with everyone and has resulted in what is appearing likely to devolve into a legal battle, with both sides lawyering up for the occasion.

A source says that between 20 and 30 legislators call the building home, meaning any potential lawsuit could involve somewhere around 10 percent of Georgia's lawmakers.

In the leaked document, there's plenty of legalese and a call to action for residents concerned that the board's decisions and policies "radically reduce our property and rental values." The implication could reach far beyond the dated Landmark tower, with questions about the legality of Airbnb versus owners' rights being pushed to the forefront...

As the situation (d)evolves, we'll keep tabs and see what happens in the Landmark Legislative Legal Battle.