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HOA safety concerns arise after deadly Midtown Atlanta shooting

Two people were killed and one is still fighting for his life after an HOA dispute at a popular midtown condo.

ATLANTA — People in Midtown are asking serious questions about safety in homeowners associations after a deadly shooting this week. Two people were killed and one person is still fighting for his life after a HOA dispute at a popular Midtown condo.

George Nowack's law firm was representing the condo association at the center of the dispute in Midtown –  and he said they were all really scared. 

They evacuated their offices Monday and he said now the industry as a whole must focus on how to keep people safe. 

"From our perspective, our name is all over that lawsuit as defending these people that she said wronged her," Nowack said. "We got a call basically right after it happened. And we reacted. We did what we needed and wanted to do to protect everyone in our firm. And we did it. And so it's still very emotional." 

Nowack said his entire firm is still reeling from the deadly shooting in Midtown Monday that killed two other people named in a lawsuit and left another in critical condition. He said he's always feared this would happen. 

"It certainly raised with me the thought, the concern that I've had for many years that there would be at some time: a manager, a lawyer, a groundskeeper, someone who is involved with the association, being hurt or killed," Nowack said.

He said those fears are compounded by a recent Georgia Court Decision that found homeowners associations must go on the properties, regardless of who owns them to fix any violations they see themselves, before coming to the court to collect on fines. 

"The court is ordering a confrontation. Between the owner and the association over a failure to maintain," Nowack said. 

The Georgia Supreme Court just affirmed the decision this month–  meaning board members may have to confront homeowners on their own property. 

"What can we do about it? And the answer is we can't do anything about it. But, what is going to be the reaction on dealing with people who are upset with you," he said. 

He believes the court ruling has created more opportunities for dangerous situations.  

Novak said he knows a number of on-site managers who have refused to go back on their properties right now until some of these safety issues are addressed. He said it's horrifying it took this tragedy to bring those concerns into sharp focus.

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