The Beacon Center Adds Litigation Services, Sues City Of Nashville

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-08 04:36:10-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The libertarian think-tank The Beacon Center has been expanding by adding litigation services.

It filed its very first lawsuit Wednesday suing the city of Nashville.

It's all over Metro government's new Airbnb law that has made it harder for people to rent out their homes if they no longer live in them.

The Beacon Center's mission hasn't changed. It's president Justin Owen said they're just expanding by launching a new legal foundation.

"On a regular basis people face senseless legal barriers that make it hard for them to be free and prosper," he said. "We've decided to take on the cases of those who maybe can't afford to defend themselves or run into some government barrier."

The center's first clients have been PJ and Rachel Anderson. They're suing the city of Nashville.

"This morning we decided to challenge the Metro government's new Airbnb law," said Owen.

The Anderson's had been renting out their Germantown home while away on business for months until July when the city passed an ordinance placing a three percent cap on non-owner occupied permits.

The problem was only 28 were issued for the Anderson's neighborhood, and they didn't get one. Now, Owen said, they have to decide whether to sell the home they were hoping to rent out or leave Nashville.

"In this case, PJ and Rachel should make that decision at the table," he said. "Metro Nashville has pulled up a chair at the table and invited itself into that discussion and they have no place in that discussion."

Owen said The Beacon Center won't stand for unfair and unjust government regulations and this lawsuit is just the beginning. "We realize that there can be regulatory environment on renting your home out, but they have to be smart regulations and constitutional," he said. "They have to be fair, and this particular ordinance is none of those."

So far the city has not assigned an attorney to this case. Metro's legal department said they have not been formally served.