Tennessee is generally considered a landlord-friendly state, but depending on your experiences and perspectives, you may feel that Tennessee gives more leverage to tenants. Whatever your opinion may be, you need to understand the laws and rights designed to protect you and your tenants. But understanding and sifting through all the legal jargon can be hard. This article will review what landlords should know about tenant rights in Tennessee.
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
Tenants have the right to live in units that comply with housing regulations; the units must be considered habitable. In addition, the Fair Housing Act states that landlords cannot discriminate against tenants due to their race, color, ethnicity, sexuality, family orientation, or disability.
However, tenants must not disturb their neighbors, and they must keep all common areas in good condition, provide their own minor maintenance and repairs, and pay their rent on time. They must discuss any negotiations with the landlord if these aren’t stipulated in the rental agreement.
Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
Landlords must maintain their properties and ensure they’re clean and safe. They also have the right to collect security deposits for unpaid bills or damages and to pursue evictions if tenants don’t comply with their responsibilities. This is contingent upon the fact that the landlord provides a habitable unit that stays up to date with local housing codes and maintains and provides appropriate waste receptacles. In addition, the landlord must provide repairs for essential services within 14 days of the request. Otherwise, tenants have the right to pursue alternative action.
General Tenant-Landlord Clauses
Because no rent control policies are in place in Tennessee unless otherwise stated in the rental agreement, the landlord has the right to charge whatever they see fit and raise the rent without limitations. In addition, no specific landlord-tenant law requires that a notice of rent change be provided. However, if the landlord doesn’t provide suitable housing conditions, the tenant has the right to withhold rent.
A tenant can terminate their lease whenever they want to as long as they give the landlord the proper amount of notice. The length of notice required changes depending on the type of lease. For example, a tenant must provide 30 days’ notice before leaving the property with a monthly lease. However, if the landlord breaches the lease agreement or doesn’t provide suitable housing, then the tenant can terminate the lease early.
Owners of Nashville rental properties should be aware of tenant-landlord rights and laws and stay up to date with them at all times. With this brief guide to what landlords should know about tenant rights in Tennessee, you now know the basics and are armed with the knowledge to keep you and your tenants out of legal trouble.