No landlord ever wants to evict a tenant. But if you own a rental property for any significant length of time, chances are, you’ll eventually have to do it. Evictions can be emotional, and you’ve got to follow the letter of the law. That’s why it’s best to know how to properly handle the eviction of a tenant before you’re faced with the need to do so. In this blog, we explain how to evict a tenant in Tennessee.
When to Evict a Tenant in Tennessee
While most evictions are related to non-payment of rent, any violation of the lease agreement can lead to an eviction, including:
- unauthorized guests or tenants
- illegal activity
- property damage
- violent, threatening behavior directed toward other tenants or the landlord
- termination of the lease
Laws that apply to the eviction process are different in every state, and this guide pertains to Tennessee law. No matter where you own property, make sure you know what your state and local ordinances are, so you don’t set yourself up for a lawsuit. Below, we outline the basic process to follow when evicting a tenant in Tennessee.
Give Appropriate Notice
When beginning the eviction process, you’ll need to give your tenants appropriate notice and clearly state your reason for the eviction. If the lease has terminated and you will not renew it, you only have to provide the appropriate notice.
- You can provide your tenant with a 14-day notice to correct the circumstances in question, such as non-payment of rent or damage to the property.
- A three-day notice is sufficient for any illegal activity or violent act committed by the tenant.
- 30 days’ notice is required for other violations of the lease.
File an Eviction Lawsuit
At the end of the above-mentioned time period, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in court. The court will issue a Detainer Warrant, which will include a date and time to appear in court and will be delivered to the tenant by the county sheriff.
Appear in Court
The court will hear evidence in support of eviction and any statements made by the tenant in their defense.
Remove the Tenant
If the court rules in favor of eviction, the tenant will have 10 days to vacate the premises. If the tenant has not left after 10 days, you should request assistance from the sheriff. Note: you may not forcibly evict the tenant on your own.
What Not To Do
It’s also important to know what you can’t do when it comes to evicting a tenant. During the eviction process you may not:
- deny a tenant’s access to the property
- forcibly remove the tenant or their belongings
- disconnect utilities
How a Property Management Company Can Help
Sound complicated? That’s because evictions are complex and legally tricky. Instead of finding a lawyer, filing all the necessary paperwork, making court appearances, and contacting law enforcement yourself, let a property management company like Greyhaven handle it for you. We retain lawyers familiar with Tennessee property law, which can vary by county. Plus, our property managers will appear in court on your behalf and handle all the required paperwork throughout the eviction process.
Contact us or call 423-648-6676 for help with your rental property.