McBrien & Kane
The official blog of McBrien & Kane, a Lebanon, Tennessee law office.
EVICTIONS IN TENNESSEE
Our office mainly represents Landlords in Landlord/Tenant disputes. And, if you are a Landlord that we represent, we have prepared an airtight lease agreement on your behalf.
Lease Agreements don’t have to be long and complicated. But they do need to set forth the term of the rental, the amount owed and most importantly the means required to evict a Tenant if they are not abiding by the rental agreement.
When a Tenant fails to pay the rent, our advice is to quickly move into action. Waiting for a few weeks only means it will take that much longer to evict the Tenant. And more than likely, during that period they are paying you nothing while you are still paying your mortgage on the rental property.
You can’t just go to your Tenant’s house, however, and make them leave. You must follow the legal process to evict. This means you must provide them with legal written notice of their failure to abide by the lease agreement and after that, you may follow up with a Detainer Warrant serving them to be in Court.
It can sometimes take a few weeks to get a court date and during this time the Tenant is living rent-free in your house. That is why it’s so important to move quickly from the very beginning.
Once in Court, the Judge will hold a hearing where the Landlord is required to prove the Tenant has breached the rental agreement. If you are successful at trial, then the Tenant is given 10 days to leave your premises and you will be given a money judgment for the rent that they owe.
But 10 days becomes 20 days very quickly. That’s because for 10 days following the court hearing, you can still do nothing while the Tenant continues to live rent free on your premises.
Only after10 days, can you contact our office to file a Write of Possession. The Writ requests that the Sheriff Department accompany you to the rental home. Because of the backlog of cases however in Wilson, Davidson, Macon and Smith County, often the Sheriff can’t go right away and those 10 days become extended.
When the Sheriff does accompany you to the house, they can not assist you in removing the Tenant’s possessions. They can ask the people to leave but it will be up to you to hire someone to move their belongings. Often by the time the Sheriff has come knocking however, the Tenant does finally move out and the only things they leave behind are unwanted items.
Which may mean your rental has been left in bad condition. If that is the case, as your attorneys we have reserved a damage hearing on your behalf. This means we will return to Court with you so you can show the Court the damages caused by the Tenant and ask for additional money judgment.
Our job after that is to collect the past due rents and any damage award from the Tenant.
Can you tell the moral of the story? Move fast when a Tenant doesn’t pay rent because if you don’t, you can be facing several months of someone living rent free in your home