Officials of metropolitan Atlanta's two largest counties are being asked to put a temporary freeze on the conversion of apartments to condominiums.
Attorney Les Schneider, chief backer of the proposed moratorium, says "condomania" is leaving area apartment dwellers homeless.
After conversion, apartment shortages and displacement of the area's labor force could result, said Schneider. He noted that 90- to 120-day moratoriums are in effect in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Md., and Brookline, Mass.
Schneider said he will make the request to the Fulton County and DeKalb County governments next week. Officials in Fulton, which has a population of 615,800, and DeKalb, with 474,200 residents, say the problem has not reached a crisis yet.
However, hundreds of apartment dwellers in Atlanta have been moved out by condominium conversions in recent months. Conversions have resulted in profits of $5,000 to $8,000 per unit, local real estate officials say.
The Atlanta City Council is considering an ordinance to give tenants six months notice of conversion plans. Under current law, notice can be as little as 30 days.
Schneider said he got interested in the problem when his DeKalb apartment complex said it would convert. He estimated that the change would cost him $320 a month for a house mortgage, compared with the $207 a month rent he pays for the same one-bedroom unit.