What Are Your Rights as a Landlord or Tenant in Tennessee?

Whether you are a Tennessee landlord with a tenant who has breached the terms of the rental agreement or lease, or you’re a tenant in Tennessee who is about to be evicted from your home, you should have the advice and counsel of a .

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant in this state, you have rights under the law that protect you, your family, and your property. Understanding the rights of landlords as well as the rights of tenants can help you avoid legal disputes that are unnecessary, costly, and time-consuming.

What Should Be Spelled Out in a Lease or Rental Agreement?

In a perfect world, every landlord would have an honest and friendly relationship with every tenant, and vice versa. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant in Tennessee, you should both be entirely comfortable with every aspect of your lease or rental agreement.

A lease should specify the security deposit and rent amounts and their due dates, the rules regarding children and pets, whether subleasing is allowed, and the details about renewing or terminating the rental agreement or lease.

What Are a Landlord’s Obligations?

Landlords in Tennessee must comply with building, health, housing, and safety codes, maintain working electricity, heat, and water, and make necessary repairs. Landlords must also inform tenants of lead paint hazards and offer printed information regarding lead paint contamination.

When a tenant is evicted in Tennessee, the landlord must adhere strictly to the law, and any failure to comply could nullify an eviction. If you’re a landlord who needs to have a tenant evicted in this state, your first step should be consulting a .

The law in Tennessee provides that a residential tenant may be evicted prior to the expiration of the tenant’s lease or rental agreement only if that tenant has:

  1.  not paid rent
  2.  committed violence on the premises
  3. damaged property in excess of its normal wear and tear
  4. participated in drug-related criminal activity on the premises
  5. threatened the landlord or others on the premises
  6. violated the rental agreement or lease

May a Tenant Fight an Eviction?

Landlord-tenant law is complicated in Tennessee. Depending on the reason for an eviction, a landlord must provide a three-day, seven-day, fourteen-day, or thirty-day notice. If you are a landlord who needs to evict a tenant, have a landlord-tenant lawyer give you personalized advice.

A tenant may challenge an eviction in court by claiming that the landlord is either discriminating or retaliating against the tenant, and if there is evidence in support of one of these claims, the tenant’s case may prevail.

If a tenant challenges an eviction in court and fails, the tenant may be removed forcibly from the rental property only by law enforcement officers. Your attorney will explain exactly what steps you should take in order to comply with Tennessee’s complicated eviction laws.

When Are Landlords Liable for Injuries?

Landlords are obligated by Tennessee law to ensure that their rental properties are reasonably free of potential hazards that would pose a danger to tenants or visitors. If you are injured due to a landlord’s failure to make a disclosure or a necessary repair, what is your legal recourse?

If a landlord’s negligence is a direct cause of your personal injury, and if you and your attorney can prove the landlord’s negligence caused your injury, the law entitles you to recover monetary compensation for your medical costs, your lost wages, and your related damages.

The deadline in Tennessee for filing an injury claim against a landlord is one year from the injury date, but if you’ve been injured due to your landlord’s negligence, don’t wait to contact an attorney. Make the call to a lawyer immediately after you’ve been treated for your injury.

What Are a Tenant’s Duties and Rights?

When a tenant exercises his or her legal rights – such as bringing a personal injury claim, challenging an eviction, or withholding rent payments until necessary repairs are made – landlords in Tennessee may not retaliate by raising the rent amount.

Tenants have a number of legal duties as well as legal rights under Tennessee law. The failure of a tenant to satisfy those duties may prompt legal action against the tenant and a fine or an eviction. A tenant’s duties include:

  1.  Tenants must pay rent on time.
  2.  Tenants must keep a rental property safe and clean, remove trash regularly, and place it in proper receptacles.
  3.  Tenants may not damage a property, engage in criminal activity, or keep another resident or roommate without the landlord’s consent.

If a landlord in Tennessee unreasonably refuses or neglects to make necessary repairs, a tenant may withhold rent payments until the repairs have been completed, or the tenant may pay for a repair out-of-pocket and then deduct the amount from his or her rent payments.

When Should a Tenant Contact an Attorney?

However, if you withhold rent payments from your landlord until necessary repairs are made, you must file a complaint with local officials, and you may have to pay the rent to an escrow account or to the county.

A Kingston landlord-tenant lawyer can provide personalized legal advice about your particular situation. Your lawyer will help you with the required paperwork, see to it that your rent money is properly handled, and negotiate a solution to the conflict if a negotiated solution is possible.

If you have a dispute with your landlord over repairs or rent, if you are injured because your landlord has been negligent, or if you need to challenge an eviction, contact a lawyer’s office at once. If a negotiated resolution is not possible, your lawyer will take the landlord to court.

Davis Law Firm Works for Both Landlords and Tenants

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord in this state, award-winning Tennessee attorney Tyler Davis and his team at Davis Law Firm will ensure that your rights are protected. We will answer your legal questions and take the appropriate measures on your behalf.

Tyler Davis is a Kingston landlord-tenant law attorney who has considerable experience settling the most complicated landlord-tenant disputes. He leads a legal team at Davis Law Firm that has built a reputation for extraordinary client service as well as courtroom excellence.

Landlords and tenants may find out more – or take legal action now – by calling Davis Law Firm at 865-830-6286. We will provide an in-depth evaluation of your case with no obligation.