Consumer Protection bill that places limit on solicitors passes TN senate

Bill proposal places a limit on the number of times solicitors can contact you regarding your property
A consumer protection bill that was passed by the Senate will put a limit on number of times a solicitor can contact someone regarding one's property.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:51 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Gregory Mitchell cherishes his North Nashville home. He’s lived there for 24 years— it was the first property he’d ever purchased.

For some time, he along with several other neighbors in his area have been bothered by unwarranted solicitors constantly contacting them through phone calls, emails, text messages, and even showing up at their door.

“It’s my home. This is where I have planted my roots and I’ve worked hard on it, worked hard in it and around it. And I just want to keep it in my home,” said Mitchell.

Senate Bill 0234 would put a limit on the number of times someone can contact a person to make an unsolicited offer on one’s property. Monday afternoon the bill passed the Senate, and now it’s on the way to the house. Senator Charlane Oliver, the bill’s sponsor, wanted to propose this type of anti-housing harassment bill after she said she noticed homeowners would be highly sought after for their land after losing their homes after the March 2020 tornado.

“This is two years in the making. I said we need some guardrails around these people contacting homeowners, especially seniors that live in my district down the street. They’re 80 and 90-year-old and these people are coming to their door. They’re harassing them with constant daily contact,” said Oliver.

Oliver says it’s a step closer for homeowners to have a pathway to doing something about the unwarranted soliciting on their property.

”Hopefully we will get some relief and you should be able to sell your property on your terms,” said Oliver.

Mitchell says this type of legislation is important, especially for those homeowners who know the value of their home and the importance of holding on to it.

“North Nashville is an area that is being gentrified,” said Mitchell.

In the meantime, Mitchell plans to continue ignoring the requests to purchase his forever home.

“I think it’s a good idea because there are some people that are here and they’re not looking to move. You know they want to stay in their homes cause if you do move where are you going to go? And to continue to be bombarded with postcards, phone calls, and emails it can be a little overwhelming,” said Mitchell.

If someone contacts you more than once a year, they could face a penalty of up to $1500 if the proposed bill is signed into law, and homeowners will be able to report their complaints to the Attorney General’s Office.