Eviction Process in Tennessee
If you are being evicted in the state of Tennessee, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Tennessee can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Tennessee and how long each step will take.
Your landlord cannot begin the eviction process in Tennessee without giving you proper notice. The amount of notice that you will receive depends on why you are being evicted. The shortest amount of notice you can be given is 3 days. This is the amount of notice given when you seriously damage the property or cause a danger to other tenants. This notice does not allow you to fix the problem—if your landlord gives you a 3 day notice, you have 3 days to move or the eviction process in Tennessee can continue in court.
If you have committed a more usual violation of your lease—for instance, failing to pay rent on time or keeping an unauthorized pet on the premises—the length of time Tennessee requires for eviction notice is quite long compared to the notice times in many other states. Your landlord must notify you that if you do not fix the problem within 14 days, your tenancy will end 30 days after the notice was served to you.
This part of the eviction process in Tennessee takes place before any courtroom proceedings, so it is the most inexpensive time to make a deal with your landlord. Many landlords will work out an arrangement with a tenant if the tenant takes action at this early stage.
Court Filings and Hearings
If you do not make amends as specified in your landlord's notice, at the end of 30 days, your tenancy will end. At this time, your landlord may continue the eviction process in Tennessee by filing a complaint with the court clerk.
You will be served with a detainer warrant that tells you why you are being evicted and specifies a date and time for your eviction hearing. You are not required to attend this hearing, but if you fail to appear, your landlord will win the eviction lawsuit by default.
If you do choose to attend your hearing, you may be able to win the eviction suit if your landlord acted improperly (for instance, by serving you improper notice or retaliating or discriminating against you). Talk to a lawyer experienced with the eviction process in Tennessee to better understand your full range of legal rights and options.
If your landlord wins the case, whether or not you are present, a court order will be issued that gives you 10 days to vacate the premises. You have the right to appeal during this 10 day period, which will lead to another hearing.
If you are still on the property on the 11th day after the judge issued the court order, your landlord can ask the court to send the sheriff to evict you forcibly. This is an action that can only be done after the eviction process in Tennessee has been followed thoroughly. Your landlord can never simply lock you out or shut off your utilities to evict you.