The landlord-tenant relationship can oftentimes be a very complicated one. Landlord-tenant disputes typically occur when one party is delinquent on their expected obligations under the rental agreement. According to Eviction Lab, in a typical year, landlords in the United States file about 3.7 million eviction cases. Disputes between landlords and their tenants can arise over a number of different reasons, from the non-payment of rent to a breach of lease, property damage, or unlawful detainer.
If you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, it is important that you consult with an experienced Tennessee real estate attorney for detailed guidance.
At McCarter | East PLLC, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal counsel and advocacy to landlords involved in legal disputes with their tenants over residential property. Our attorneys are available to review your unique situation and help you explore all possible legal options. As your legal counsel, we can intervene immediately and help resolve disputes between all parties involved.
Our team will fight diligently to protect your legal rights and offer you the effective representation you need in your landlord-tenant dispute. McCarter | East PLLC is proud to serve individuals across the Murfreesboro area and in Berry Hill, Tennessee.
Law Rights & Responsibilities
The landlord-tenant laws in the state of Tennessee are quite tenant-friendly, but they do offer certain protections for landlords as well. Here are some important laws that landlords and tenants in Tennessee should know about. This also includes the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.
Tennessee laws require rental agreements for tenancies to be 12 months or longer.
The mandatory provisions of the rental agreement include a detailed description of the rental property, terms of the lease, monthly rent, due date, pet policy, and security deposit amount.
The rental agreement notice requirements in Tennessee include ten days' notice for a week-to-week lease or 30 days' notice for a month-to-month lease. There is no statute addressing a year-to-year lease.
Maintenance and Repairs
Rent & Lease Renewal
Tenants who want to renew their lease must notify the landlord in writing at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the lease.
There is no rent control or limit required by the state. Hence, landlords can charge any rent price agreed upon by both parties.
Tenants are allowed to withhold rent payments in the state if the landlord fails to provide a habitable dwelling or essential services.
Landlords may charge late fees for any late payment of rent, not exceeding 10% of the amount past due.
The landlord must wait for five (5) working days after the rent has become due to demand the full rental amount from the tenant.
Landlord & Tenant Rights
The landlord must not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion, color, disability, or family status.
Both the landlord and tenant must comply with building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
The landlord is required to make adequate repairs and keep the property in habitable condition.
The landlord must keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and clean condition.
The landlord must provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for waste disposal or removal.
All garbage, rubbish, ashes, and other waste must be properly disposed of by the tenant.
The tenant may not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises.
However, Landlords may be unable to retaliate against tenants for exercising their constitutional rights.
Resolving a landlord-tenant dispute involves interaction among the landlord, tenant, rental agreement, and Tennessee landlord-tenant laws. Here are some possible resolution approaches to settle disputes between landlords and tenants:
Arrange a Settlement Meeting: A settlement meeting between the landlord and the tenant may be organized to resolve any pending issues or disagreements.
Mediation: Mediation involves both parties coming together to discuss a feasible resolution. A third party — usually a mediator or mediation attorney — will help negotiate with both parties and facilitate a possible compromise.
Arbitration: Arbitration requires both the landlord and tenant to submit evidence and testimony to one or more arbitrators. The arbitrators will review the available evidence and help determine the best possible resolution for the dispute.
Litigation: In the event that any of the above dispute resolution approaches are not pursued or otherwise not productive, litigation can be the last resort. A court hearing will be scheduled where both parties will be allowed to present their case. A judge can help resolve the landlord-tenant dispute through a court trial.
How a Real Estate Attorney Can Help
Resolving disputes between landlords and tenants can involve a number of different legal complexities. If you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute or if you believe your landlord rights have been violated, it is critical that you consult with a knowledgeable Tennessee real estate attorney who can protect your rights and advocate for your needs.
At McCarter | East PLLC, our attorneys have devoted their careers to offering experienced legal guidance and reliable representation to clients facing real estate issues and landlord-tenant disputes. As your legal counsel, we will evaluate the surrounding circumstances of your case and help you understand your available dispute resolution options. Our team will work diligently with all parties involved in an attempt to resolve any lingering disagreements as peacefully and efficiently as possible. Don’t face these challenges on your own. Call or reach out to our firm today for help.