When you are done reading about the Tennessee Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding Tennessee Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
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Tennessee Eviction Laws
The eviction laws in Tennessee depend on what county you are in. If you live in Shelby, Davidson, Knox, Hamilton, Sumner, Montgomery, Blount, Madison, Bradley, or Anderson Counties, your eviction laws are governed by the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, which is contained in the Tennessee Code under Title 66, Chapter 28. This act covers all the rules concerning the relationship between landlords and tenant for those counties. If you do not live in one of those counties, the eviction law is governed by local law or common law. If you are a landlord in Tennessee, it is a good idea to familiarie yourself with the laws in your county.
Tennessee Eviction Notice
The first step in the eviction process in Tennessee is when the landlord serves the tenant with an eviction notice. If the landlord is in one of the counties covered by the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, then eviction takes a little more time. In those counties, to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent or for breaching the lease, the landlord should serve the tenant with a 30 Day Notice. This 30 day notice will state that the tenant must fix the problem within 14 days, or else the lease will terminate at the end of the 30 days. If the tenant is doing something that creates serious damage or harm to others, the landlord can serve the tenant with a 3 Day Notice to Vacate. This should only be used for serious damage or violations of health or safety. It is important for the landlord to check the lease. Some leases say that no notice is required for non-payment of rent. If that is the case, the landlord can go strait to court for relief. However, it might be better to give notice anyway, to give the tenant an opportunity to pay the rent (and let them know you are serious).
If the property is not in one of the counties covered by the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, then the landlord only needs to serve a 14 Day Notice to evict for non-payment of rent, extensive damage, or health and safety violations. All other breaches need a 30 Day Notice.
Once the Notice period in the Eviction Notice has run out, and the tenant is still there, the landlord needs to go to court for help. The landlord should go to the court that handles evictions for the jurisdiction where the property sits (usually General Sessions Court), and ask the court clerk for a Detainer Warrant to be issued. There will be a filing fee. The Sheriff will the deliver the Detainer Warrant to the tenant. It will tell the tenant when and where the court date is.
Going to Court
The landlord needs to appear at the court date to win the eviction. If the tenant does not show, then the landlord will win by default. If the tenant shows up, then both sides will have to present their case (their “side of the story”) to the judge. The landlord should bring all evidence to court, including the lease, a copy of the eviction notice, documents, rent reciepts, witnesses, etc. The judge will then make a ruling. If the judge rules for the landlord, the tenant will have 10 days to vacate the premises. The judge can also award the landlord back rent and money for damages. During this 10 days, the tenant can appeal the judgment if they want to. If they appeal, there will be another hearing in Circuit Court, upon which the landlord must prove their case before the landlord can gain possession.
If the tenant is still in possession after the expiration of 10 days from the judge’s order to vacate, the landlord must go to the court clerk and apply to have the Sheriff remove the tenant. The Sheriff has the power to physically remove the tenant and the tenant’s belongs on the 11th day after the order was handed down. The landlord can never physically evict the tenant themselves.
Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding Tennessee Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges’ rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.