Posted in Blog  
  on Sep 09, 2015

What is the Eviction Process in Tennessee

If tenants don't pay their rent on time, then Tennessee allows landlords to charge a late fee. The fee cannot be charged until rent is 5 days late, however, and Sundays and legal holidays cannot count as the fifth day late. The fee cannot exceed 10% of the total amount due either. This is the start of the eviction process in Tennessee. Landlords are not allowed to proceed with a formal eviction when the rent is not paid for 14 days. Tenants may choose instead to move out within 16 days of when rent is first due. The 14 days notice for nonpayment of rent can be delivered immediately. Rent can then be paid at any time after that period with the late fee, if applicable. If there is a grace period for payment, then the rent is not considered to be late until the grace period expires.

A 14 Day Notice May Apply To Other Situations

If payment or a voluntary termination of tenancy are not completed, only then can a landlord file for an eviction. A 14 day notice can also be given to a tenant if there is damage to the property beyond normal wear or tear or if there is documented violence occurring at the rental unit. If a tenant pays the rent or fixes damages within the 14 day period, then an eviction cannot proceed. The only exception to this would be a notice for violent acts, which has no cure.

All Other Notices Require 30 Days

If a tenant has paid their rent on time, has not damaged the property, and there is no violence at the rental unit, then landlords are required to provide 30 days notice for violating other parts of the lease. Tenants can, however, be evicted sooner in Tennessee if they've agreed to a shorter period of time in the rental agreement. If there is not a lease in place or a rental agreement has expired, then landlords can evict at any time with the right amount of notice.

Landlords Must Then File For a Detainer Warrant

This is served to the tenant once filed and will have the date of when a court hearing on the matter will take place. Tenants must receive at least 6 days notice before a hearing. If the landlord prevails, then tenants still have 10 days in which to move out after the court issues a judgment. After the 10 day period, then the sheriff's department will be summoned to forcibly move tenants off a property. Monetary judgments may be included with this hearing. If a financial judgment is obtained, landlords may be able to garnish funds from a tenant's future paychecks until the judgment is paid in full. Both sides also have the right to appeal. Certain counties in Tennessee have specific procedures to the eviction process that must also be followed. For specific questions regarding the eviction process in Tennessee, be sure to consult with local landlord-tenant laws to see what is expected of both parties.


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