Residential Landlord/Tenant Law

Tennessee Law requires certain duties of a tenant and a landlord. If the landlord fails in his or her duties to a tenant, monetary or other remedies may be available to the tenant.

A landlord's and a tenant's duties vary from county to county. Counties that have a population of 68,000 or more apply the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act ("URLTA"). These counties include Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Maury, Montgomery, Sevier, Shelby, Sumner and Wilson. As the population grows in Tennessee, the list of counties covered by the URLTA may grow. Under the URLTA, a landlord and tenant have several duties towards one another. It is important to note that the duties of tenants and landlords that live in non-URLTA are different.

Under the URLTA, a landlord must comply with applicable housing and safety codes; keep the property in a habitable condition; keep common areas clean and safe; and if the property has more than four units, the landlord must supply and maintain trash receptacles. If the landlord fails to comply with URLTA, monetary damages or other remedies are available to the tenant.

Additionally, under the URLTA, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for complaining about violations of the URLTA or for obtaining remedies available under the URLTA.

If you are a tenant that believes that the landlord has violated the URLTA, you have specific notification requirements to the landlord before you can obtain the remedies available under the URLTA.

If the tenant resides in a non-URLTA county, the responsibilities of the landlord are based on the lease or rental agreement made between the landlord and the tenant. The landlord is not responsible for repairs and the keeping the property safe and clean unless stated in the lease or rental agreement.

Tennessee law also requires certain procedural conditions that the landlord must satisfy before a tenant may be evicted from his rental home or apartment. If you believe that you were improperly evicted, please contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Additionally, because landlord/tenant law can be difficult to understand and is not the same from county to county, a tenant that believes a landlord has possibly violated the URLTA or breached the lease or rental agreement should consult with an attorney before taking any action against their landlord.