Tennessee Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act Law


Landlord Tenant – Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act – Tennessee

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Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.” Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-101

Application.

(a)

(1) Except as provided in subdivision (a)(2), the provisions of this chapter are applicable only in counties having a population of more than sixty-eight thousand (68,000) according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
(2) The provisions of this chapter do not apply in counties having a population according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, of:

not less than                                      nor more than

80,000                                                 83,000

92,200                                                 92,500

118,400                                               118,700

140,000                                               145,000

(b) This chapter applies to rental agreements entered into or extended or renewed after July 1, 1975. Transactions entered into before July 1, 1975, and not extended or renewed after that date, and the rights, duties and interests flowing from them remain valid and may be terminated, completed, consummated, or enforced as required or permitted by any statute or other law amended or repealed by this chapter as though the amendment or repeal has not occurred.
(c) Unless created to avoid the application of this chapter, the following arrangements are not governed by this chapter:

(1) Residence at an institution, public or private, if incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious, or similar service;
(2) Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, if the occupant is the purchaser or a person who succeeds to the purchaser’s interest;
(3) Transient occupancy in a hotel, or motel or lodgings subject to city, state, transient lodgings or room occupancy under the Excise Tax Act;
(4) Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit or a holder of a proprietary lease in a cooperative; or
(5) Occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises used by the occupant primarily for agricultural purposes. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-102.

Purposes – Rules of construction.

(a) This chapter shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies.
(b) Underlying purposes and policies of this chapter are to:

(1) Simplify, clarify, modernize and revise the law governing the rental of dwelling units and the rights and obligations of landlord and tenant;
(2) Encourage landlord and tenant to maintain and improve the quality of housing;
(3) Promote equal protection to all parties; and
(4) Make uniform the law in Tennessee.

(c) Unless displaced by the provisions of this chapter, the principles of law and equity, including the law relating to capacity to contract, health, safety and fire prevention, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, bankruptcy, or other validating or invalidating cause supplement its provisions.
(d) This chapter being a general chapter intended as a unified coverage of its subject matter, no part of it is to be construed as impliedly repealed by subsequent legislation if that construction can reasonably be avoided. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-103.

Definitions.

Subject to additional definitions contained in this chapter, which apply to specific portions thereof, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this chapter:

(1) “Action” includes recoupment, counterclaim, set-off, suit in equity, and any other proceeding in which rights are determined, including an action for possession;
(2) “Building and housing codes” includes any law, ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning fitness for habitation, or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use, or appearance of any premises, or dwelling unit;
(3) “Dwelling unit” means a structure or the part of a structure that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one (1) person who maintains a household or by two (2) or more persons who maintain a common household;
(4) “Good faith” means honesty in fact in the conduct of the transaction concerned;
(5) “Landlord” means the owner, lessor, or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the building of which it is a part, and it also means a manager of the premises who fails to disclose as required by § 66-28-302;
(6) “Organization” includes a corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, two (2) or more persons having a joint or common interest, and any other legal or commercial entity;

(7) (A) “Owner” means one (1) or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested:

(i) All or part of the legal title to property; or
(ii) All or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to the present use and enjoyment of the premises;

(B) “Owner” also includes a mortgagee in possession.

(8) “Person” includes an individual or organization;
(9) “Premises” means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and facilities and appurtenances therein and grounds, areas and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally or whose use is promised to the tenant;
(10) “Rental agreement” means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under § 66-28-402 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises;
(11) “Rents” means all payments to be made to the landlord under the rental agreement;
(12) (A) “Security deposit” means an escrow payment made to the landlord under the rental agreement for the purpose of securing the landlord against financial loss due to damage to the premises occasioned by the tenant’s occupancy other than ordinary wear and tear; and (B) “Security deposit” does not include advance rentals;
(13) “Tenant” means a person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others;
(14) “Nuisance vehicle” means any vehicle that is incapable of operating under its own power and is detrimental to the health, welfare or safety of persons in the community;
(15) “Unauthorized vehicle” means a vehicle that is not registered to a tenant, an occupant or a tenant’s known guest, and has remained for more than seven (7) consecutive days on real property leased or rented by a landlord for residential purposes; and
(16) “Vehicle” means any device for carrying passengers, livestock, goods or equipment that moves on wheels and/or runners. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-104

Jurisdiction and service of process.

(a) The general sessions and circuit courts of this state shall exercise original jurisdiction over any landlord or tenant with respect to any conduct in this state governed by this chapter. In addition to any other method provided by rule or by statute, personal jurisdiction over the parties may be acquired in a civil action or proceeding instituted in law or equity by service of process in the manner provided by law.
(b) A landlord who is not a resident of this state or is a corporation not authorized to do business in this state and engages in a transaction subject to this chapter may designate an agent upon whom service of process may be made in this state. The agent shall be a resident of this state or a corporation authorized to do business in this state. The designation shall be in writing, filed with the secretary of state, and must set forth the name and street address (including zip code) of the agent, the name and street address (including zip code) of the landlord and be accompanied by a ten dollar ($10.00) filing fee. If no designation is made and filed or if process cannot be served in this state upon the designated agent, process may be served upon the secretary of state forthwith by mailing a copy of the process and pleading by registered or certified mail to the defendant or respondent at that party’s last known address. Such process must be accompanied by a ten dollar ($10.00) fee and specify the address of the defendant. An affidavit of service shall be filed by the secretary of state with the clerk of the court on or before the return day of the process. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-105.

Notice.

(a) Either party has notice of a fact if such person:

(1) Has actual knowledge of it; or
(2) Has been given written notice.

(b)  All parties must give written notice to the last known or designated address contained in the lease agreement.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-106.

PART 2

RENTAL AGREEMENTS

Terms and conditions.

(a) The landlord and tenant may include in a rental agreement, terms and conditions not prohibited by this chapter or other rule of law including rent, term of the agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of parties. A rental agreement cannot provide that the tenant agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under this chapter. The landlord or the landlord’s agent shall advise in writing that the landlord is not responsible for, and will not provide, fire or casualty insurance for the tenant’s personal property.
(b) In absence of a lease agreement, the tenant shall pay the reasonable value for the use and occupancy of the dwelling unit.
(c) Rent shall be payable without demand at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Notice is specifically waived upon the nonpayment of rent by the tenant only if such a waiver is provided for in a written rental agreement. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit and periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one (1) month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. Upon agreement, rent shall be uniformly apportionable from day to day.
(d) The landlord shall not charge a tenant for the late payment of rent due unless more than five (5) days have elapsed since the rent was due. Any charge or fee, however described, which is charged by the landlord for the late payment of rent shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the amount of rent past due.

(e) (1)  No charge or fee for the late payment of rent due from a tenant in a public housing project shall exceed five dollars ($5.00) per month. No late charge or fee shall be assessed such tenant unless more than fifteen (15) days have elapsed since the rent was due. (2) The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to counties with a population between two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) and three hundred thousand (300,000) according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent census.  Title 66, Chap. 28 §66-28-201.

Effect of unsigned or undelivered agreement.

(a) If the landlord does not sign a written rental agreement, acceptance of rent without reservation by the landlord binds the parties on a month to month tenancy.
(b) Any person or persons taking possession without payment and failing to sign a written rental agreement delivered to them by the landlord or who enter without oral agreement are deemed to be trespassers and will be evicted forthwith.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-202.

Prohibited provisions.

(a) No rental agreement may provide that the tenant:

(1) Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;
(2) Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord to the tenant arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or the costs connected with such liability.

(b) A provision prohibited by subsection (a) included in an agreement is unenforceable. Should a landlord willfully provide a rental agreement containing provisions known by the landlord to be prohibited by this chapter, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained. The tenant cannot agree to waive or forego rights or remedies under this chapter.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-203.

Unconscionability.

(a)  If the court, as a matter of law, finds:

(1) A rental agreement or any provision thereof was unconscionable when made, the court shall enforce the remainder of the agreement without the unconscionable provision, or limit the application of any unconscionable provision to avoid an unconscionable result; or
(2) A settlement in which a party waives or agrees to forego a claim or right under this chapter or under a rental agreement was unconscionable at the time it was made, the court shall enforce the remainder of the settlement without the unconscionable provision, or limit the application of any unconscionable provision to avoid the unconscionable result.

(b) If unconscionability is put into issue by a party or by the court upon its own motion, the parties shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence as to the setting, purpose, and effect of the rental agreement or settlement to aid the court in making the determination.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-204.

PART 3

LANDLORD OBLIGATIONS

Security deposits.

(a) All landlords of residential property requiring security deposits prior to occupancy are required to deposit all tenants’ security deposits in an account used only for that purpose, in any bank or other lending institution subject to regulation by the state of Tennessee or any agency of the United States government. Prospective tenants shall be informed of the location of the separate account.
(b) Within three (3) business days of the termination of occupancy but prior to any repairs or cleanup of the premises, the landlord shall inspect the premises and compile a comprehensive listing of any damage to the unit which is the basis for any charge against the security deposit and the estimated dollar cost of repairing such damage. The tenant shall then have the right to inspect the premises to ascertain the accuracy of such listing. The landlord and the tenant shall sign such listing, which signatures shall be conclusive evidence of the accuracy of such listing. If the tenant refuses to sign such listing, the tenant shall state specifically in writing the items on the list to which the tenant dissents, and shall sign such statement of dissent. If the tenant has moved or is otherwise inaccessible to the landlord, the landlord shall mail a copy of the listing of damages and estimated cost of repairs to the tenant at the tenant’s last known mailing address.
(c) No landlord shall be entitled to retain any portion of a security deposit if the security deposit was not deposited in a separate account as required by subsection (a) and if the final damage listing required by subsection (b) is not provided.
(d) A tenant who disputes the accuracy of the final damage listing given pursuant to subsection (b)may bring an action in a circuit or general sessions court of competent jurisdiction of this state. The tenant’s claim shall be limited to those items from which the tenant specifically dissented in accordance with the listing or specifically dissented in accordance with subsection (b); otherwise the tenant shall not be entitled to recover any damages under this section.
(e) Should a tenant vacate the premises with unpaid rent due and owing, and without making a demand for return of deposit, the landlord may, after thirty (30) days, remove the deposit from the account and apply the moneys to the unpaid debt.
(f) In the event the tenant leaves not owing rent and having any refund due, the landlord shall send notification to the last known or reasonable determinable address, of the amount of any refund due the tenant. In the event the landlord shall not have received a response from the tenant within sixty (60) days from the sending of such notification, the landlord may remove the deposit from the account and retain it free from any claim of the tenant or any person claiming in the tenant’s behalf.
(g) This section does not preclude the landlord or tenant from recovering other damages to which such landlord or tenant may be entitled under this chapter.

(h) (1)Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), all landlords of residential property shall be required to notify their tenants at the time such persons sign the lease and submit the security deposit, of the location of the separate account required to be maintained pursuant to this section, but shall not be required to provide the account number to such persons, nor shall they be required to provide such information to a person who is a prospective tenant. (2) The provisions of subdivision (h)(1) do not apply in counties having a population according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, of:

not less than                                           nor more than

————                                            ————-

80,000                                                 83,000

92,200                                                 92,500

118,400                                                118,700

140,000                                                145,000

Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-301.

Address of landlord or agent.

(a) The landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on the landlord’s behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of:

(1) The agent authorized to manage the premises; and
(2) An owner of the premises or a person or agent authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the acceptance of service of process and for receipt of notices and demands.

(b) The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord, owner or manager.
(c) A person who fails to comply with subsection (a) becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for the purpose of service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-302.

Possession of dwelling.

At the commencement of the terms, the landlord shall deliver possession of the premises to the tenant in compliance with the rental agreement and § 66-28-304. The landlord may bring an action for possession against any person wrongfully in possession and may recover the damages provided in § 66-28-512(c). Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-303.

Maintenance by landlord.

(a) The landlord shall:

(1) Comply with requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
(2) Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;
(3) Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition; and
(4) In multi-unit complexes of four (4) or more units, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste from common points of collection subject to § 66-28-401(3).

(b) If the duty imposed by subdivision (a)(1) is greater than any duty imposed by any other paragraph of this subsection, the landlord’s duty shall be determined by reference to subdivision (a)(1).
(c) The landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and remodeling, but only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.
(d) The landlord may not treat performance of the separate agreement described in subsection (c) as a condition to any obligation or performance of any rental agreement.
Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-304.

Limitation of landlord’s liability.

Unless otherwise agreed, a landlord who conveys premises that include a dwelling unit subject to a rental agreement in good faith sale to a bona fide purchaser, landlord and/or agent is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this chapter as to events occurring subsequent to written notice to the tenant of the conveyance. However, the landlord remains jointly liable to the tenant for any property and money to which the tenant is entitled under § 66-28-301.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-305.

(c) The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.
(d) The landlord has no right of access except:

(1) By court order;
(2) As permitted by §§ 66-28-506 and 66-28-507(b);
(3) If the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises; or
(4) If the tenant is deceased, incapacitated or incarcerated.
Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-403.

Use and occupation by tenant.

Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant shall occupy the dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit. The rental agreement may require that the tenant notify the landlord of any anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of seven (7) days. Notice shall be given on or before the first day of any extended absence.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-404.

Abandonment.

The tenant’s unexplained and/or extended absence from the premises for thirty (30) days or more without payment of rent as due shall be prima facie evidence of abandonment. The landlord is then expressly authorized to enter, remove and store all personal items belonging to tenant. If tenant does not claim such personalty within an additional thirty (30) days, landlord may sell or dispose of the personalty and apply the proceeds of the sale to the unpaid rents, damages, storage fees, sale costs and attorney’s fees. Any balances are to be held by the landlord for a period of six (6) months after the sale. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-405.

PART 5 ENFORCEMENT AND REMEDIES

Noncompliance with rental agreement by landlord.

(a) Except as provided in this chapter, the tenant may recover damages, obtain injunctive relief and recover reasonable attorney’s fees for any noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or any section of this chapter upon giving fourteen (14) days’ written notice.
(b) If the rental agreement is terminated for noncompliance after sufficient notice, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and security deposits recoverable by the tenant under § 66-28-301.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-501.

Failure to supply essential services.

(a) (1) If the landlord deliberately or negligently fails to supply essential services, the tenant shall give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and may do one (1) of the following:

(A) Procure essential services during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance and deduct their actual and reasonable costs from the rent;
(B) Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit, provided tenant continues to occupy premises; or
(C) Procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord’s noncompliance.

(2) In addition to the remedy provided in subdivision (a)(1)(C), the tenant may recover the actual and reasonable value of the substitute housing and in any case under this subsection, reasonable attorney’s fees.
(3) “Essential services” means utility services, including gas, heat, electricity, and any other obligations imposed upon the landlord which materially affect the health and safety of the tenant.

(b)  A tenant who proceeds under this section may not proceed under § 66-28-501 or § 66-28-503 as to that breach.
(c) The rights under this section do not arise until the tenant has given written notice to the landlord and has shown that the condition was not caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-502.

Fire or casualty damage.

(a)  If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that the use of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant:

(1) May immediately vacate the premises; and
(2) Shall notify the landlord in writing within fourteen (14) days thereafter of the tenant’s intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating.

(b) If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and security deposits recoverable under § 66-28-301. Accounting for rent in the event of termination or apportionment is to occur as of the date of the casualty. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-503.
[Acts 1975, ch. 245, § 4.103; T.C.A., § 64-2843.]

Unlawful ouster, exclusion, or diminution of service.

If the landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the tenant from the premises or willfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting essential services as provided in the rental agreement to the tenant, the tenant may recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover actual damages sustained by the tenant, and punitive damages when appropriate, plus a reasonable attorney’s fee. If the rental agreement is terminated under this section, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and security deposits.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-504.

Noncompliance by tenant – Failure to pay rent.

(a) Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with § 66-28-401 materially affecting health and safety, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach, and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty (30) days after receipt of the notice. If the breach is not remedied in fourteen (14) days, the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice, subject to the following. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of damages or otherwise and the tenant adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement will not terminate. If substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six (6) months, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement upon at least fourteen (14) days’ written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement.
(b)  If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay, written notice by the landlord of nonpayment is required unless otherwise specifically waived in a written rental agreement. The rental agreement is enforceable for collection of rent for the remaining term of the rental agreement.
(c) Except as provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or § 66-28-401. The landlord may recover reasonable attorney’s fees for breach of contract and nonpayment of rent as provided in the rental agreement.
(d)  The landlord may recover punitive damages for willful destruction of property. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-505.

Failure of tenant to maintain dwelling.

If there is noncompliance by the tenant with § 66-28-401 materially affecting health and safety that can be remedied by repair, replacement of a damaged item or cleaning, and the tenant fails to comply as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency or within fourteen (14) days after written notice by the landlord specifying the breach and requesting that the tenant remedy it within that period of time, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit and cause the work to be done in a workmanlike manner and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost or the fair and reasonable value thereof as rent on the next date when periodic rent is due, or if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-506.

Absence, nonuse or abandonment by tenant.

(a) If the rental agreement requires the tenant to give notice to the landlord of an anticipated extended absence in excess of seven (7) days as required in § 66-28-404 and the tenant willfully fails to do so, the landlord may recover actual damages from the tenant.
(b) During any absence of the tenant in excess of seven (7) days, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit at times reasonably necessary.
(c)  If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit, the landlord shall use reasonable efforts to rerent the dwelling unit at a fair rental. If the landlord rents the dwelling unit for a term beginning prior to the expiration of the rental agreement, the rental agreement is terminated as of the date of the new tenancy. If the tenancy is from month-to-month, or week-to-week, the term of the rental agreement for this purpose shall be deemed to be a month or a week, as the case may be.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-507.

Waiver of landlord’s right to terminate.

If the landlord accepts rent without reservation and with knowledge of a tenant default, the landlord by such acceptance condones the default and thereby waives such landlord’s right and is estopped from terminating the rental agreement as to that breach.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-508.

Landlord liens.

A contracted lien or security interest on behalf of the landlord in the tenant’s household goods shall not be enforceable unless perfected by a Uniform Commercial Code filing with the secretary of state. All other liens are hereby expressly prohibited under this chapter. The landlord shall be responsible for releasing lien at expiration or termination of the lease.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-509.

Landlord’s remedy after termination.

If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord may have a claim for possession and for rent and a separate claim for actual damages for breach of the rental agreement and reasonable attorney’s fees.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-510.

Recovery of possession by landlord limited.

A landlord may not recover or take possession of the dwelling unit by action or otherwise, including willful diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of electric, gas, water or other essential service to the tenant, except in case of abandonment, surrender, or as permitted in this chapter. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-511.

Termination of periodic tenancy – Holdover remedies.

(a) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least ten (10) days prior to the termination date specified in the notice.
(b) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least thirty (30) days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the notice.
(c) If the tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the landlord may bring an action for possession and if the tenant’s holdover is willful and not in good faith, the landlord, in addition, may recover actual damages sustained by the landlord, plus reasonable attorney’s fees. If the landlord consents to the tenant’s continued occupancy, § 66-28-201(c) applies.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-512.

Remedies for abuse of access.

(a) If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access, or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the landlord may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(b) If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but which have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the tenant may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-513.

Retaliatory conduct prohibited.

(a) Except as provided in this section, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession because the tenant:

(1) Has complained to the landlord of a violation under § 66-28-301; or
(2) Has made use of remedies provided under this chapter.

(b) (1)  Notwithstanding subsection (a), a landlord may bring action for possession if:

(A) The violation of the applicable building or housing code was caused primarily by lack of reasonable care by the tenant or other person in the tenant’s household or upon the premises with the tenant’s consent;
(B) The tenant is in default in rent; or
(C) Compliance with the applicable building or housing code requires alteration, remodeling, or demolition which would effectively deprive the tenant of use of the dwelling unit.

(2) The maintenance of the action does not release the landlord from liability under § 66-28-501(b). Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-514.

Administration of remedies – Enforcement.

(a) The remedies provided by this chapter shall be so administered that the aggrieved party may recover lawful damages. The aggrieved party has an obligation and duty to mitigate damages.
(b) Any right or obligation declared by this chapter is enforceable by legal action unless the provision declaring it specifies a different and limited effect. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-515.

Obligation of good faith.

Every duty under this chapter and every act which must be performed as a condition precedent to the exercise of a right or remedy under this chapter imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-516.

Termination by landlord for violence or threats to health, safety, or welfare of persons or property.

(a) A landlord may terminate a rental agreement within three (3) days from the date written notice is delivered to the tenant if the tenant or any other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent willfully or intentionally commits a violent act or behaves in a manner which constitutes or threatens to be a real and present danger to the health, safety or welfare of the life or property of other tenants or persons on the premises.
(b) The notice required by this section shall specifically detail the violation which has been committed and shall be effective only from the date of receipt of the notice by the tenant.
(c) Upon receipt of such written notice, the tenant shall be entitled to immediate access to any court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of obtaining a temporary or permanent injunction against such termination by the landlord.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow a landlord to recover or take possession of the dwelling unit by action or otherwise including willful diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or causing interruption of electric, gas or other essential service to the tenant except in the case of abandonment or surrender.
(e) If the landlord’s action in terminating the lease under this provision is willful and not in good faith, the tenant may in addition recover actual damages sustained by the tenant plus reasonable attorney’s fees.
(f) The failure to bring an action for or to obtain an injunction may not be used as evidence in any action to recover possession of the dwelling unit. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-517.

Towing of unauthorized vehicles.

(a) A landlord may have an unauthorized vehicle towed or otherwise removed from real property leased or rented by such landlord for residential purposes, upon giving ten (10) days written notice by posting the same upon the subject vehicle.
(b) A landlord may have a tenant’s, occupant’s, tenant’s guest’s, or trespasser’s vehicle immediately towed or otherwise removed from such real property, without notice, if and when such person fails to comply with the landlord’s permit parking policy as defined in the landlord’s posted signage.
(c) A landlord may have a tenant’s, occupant’s, tenant’s guest’s, or trespasser’s vehicle immediately towed or otherwise removed from such real property, without notice, for such person’s failure to comply with the landlord’s posted signage relative to traffic and parking restrictions, including, but not limited to, traffic lanes, fire lanes, fire hydrants, handicapped areas, and/or the blocking of trash receptacles.
(d) The owner or lessee of a vehicle that has been removed pursuant to this section may make application to take possession of such vehicle and remove such vehicle from the place to which it has been removed or stored by paying the costs of removing such vehicle, plus the accrued towing and storage charges. Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-518.

Towing of vehicles.

A landlord may have the following vehicles towed or otherwise removed from real property leased or rented by such landlord for residential purposes, upon giving a ten-day written notice by posting the same upon the subject vehicle:

(1) A vehicle with one (1) or more flat or missing tires;
(2) A vehicle unable to operate under its own power;
(3) A vehicle with a missing or broken windshield or more than one (1) broken or missing window;
(4) A vehicle with one (1) or more missing fenders or bumpers; or
(5) A motor vehicle that has not been in compliance with all applicable local or state laws relative to titling, licensing, operation, and registration for more than thirty (30) days.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-519.

Towing of nuisance vehicles.

Any nuisance vehicle located on or about the premises of real property that has been leased or rented for residential purposes may be towed or otherwise removed from such premises by the landlord upon giving twenty-four (24) hours written notice by posting the same upon the subject vehicle.  Title 66, Chap. 28, §66-28-520.

CHAPTER 29
ABANDONED OR UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
PART 1
UNIFORM DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED
(PERSONAL) PROPERTY ACT

Short title.

This part shall be known as the “Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.” Title 66, Chap. 29, §66-29-101.

Definitions.

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Banking organization” means any national bank or state bank, trust company, savings bank, industrial bank, land bank, safe deposit company, or private banker;
(2) “Business association” means any corporation (other than a public corporation), joint stock company, business trust, partnership cooperative, or any association for business purposes of two (2) or more individuals;
(3) “Financial organization” means any savings and loan association, building and loan association, credit union, cooperative bank, or investment company;
(4) “Holder” means any person in possession of property subject to this chapter belonging to another, or who is trustee in case of a trust, or is indebted to another on an obligation subject to this part;
(5) “Life insurance corporation” means any association or corporation transacting the business of insurance on the lives of persons or insurance appertaining thereto, including, but not by way of limitation, endowments and annuities;
(6) “Local government” means any municipality or county located in Tennessee;
(7) “Owner” means a depositor in case of a deposit, a beneficiary in case of a trust, a creditor, claimant, or payee in case of other choses in action, or any person having a legal or equitable interest in property subject to this part, or the legal representative of such person;
(8) “Person” means any individual, business association, government or political subdivision, public corporation, public authority, estate, trust, two (2) or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity, whether such person is acting in such person’s own right or in a representative or fiduciary capacity;
(9) “Property” means tangible personalty located in this state and all intangible personalty;
(10) “Treasurer” means the state treasurer; and
(11) “Utility” means any person who owns or operates for public use, any plant, equipment, property, franchise, or license for the transmission of communications or the production, storage, transmission, sale, delivery, or furnishing of electricity, water, steam, or gas.  Title 66, Chap. 29, §66-29-102.

General rules for taking custody of intangible unclaimed property.

Unless otherwise provided in this part or by other statute of this state, intangible property is subject to the custody of this state as unclaimed property if the conditions raising a presumption of abandonment under this section or §§ 66-29-104 – 66-29-111 are satisfied and:

(1) The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in this state;
(2) The records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the property and it is established that the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this state;
(3) The records of the holder do not reflect the last known address of the apparent owner, and it is established that:

(A) The last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this state; or
(B) The holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state and has not previously paid or delivered the property to the state of the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property;

(4) The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state;
(5) The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a foreign nation and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state; or
(6) The transaction out of which the property arose occurred in this state; and

(A) (i) The last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is unknown; or
(ii) The last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property; and

(B) The holder is a domiciliary of a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.  Title 66, Chap. 29, §66-29-103.

Property held by banking or financial organizations or by business associations.

The following property held or owing by a banking or financial organization or by a business association is presumed abandoned:

(1) Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit made with a banking organization, together with any interest or dividend thereon, excluding any charges that may lawfully be withheld, unless the owner has, within five (5) years:

(A) Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit, or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit for the crediting of interest;
(B) Corresponded in writing with the banking organization concerning the deposit; or
(C) Otherwise indicated an interest in the deposit as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking organization, providing such memorandum is one which is routinely kept according to customary banking practices;

(2) Any funds paid toward the purchase of shares or other interest in a financial organization or any deposit made therewith, and any interest or dividends thereon excluding any charges that may lawfully be withheld, unless the owner has within five (5) years:

(A) Increased or decreased the amount of the funds or deposit or presented an appropriate record for the crediting of interest or dividends;
(B) Corresponded in writing with the financial organization concerning the funds or deposit; or
(C) Otherwise indicated an interest in the funds or deposit as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the financial organization;
(3)A) Any sum payable on checks certified or on written instruments issued on which a banking or financial organization or business association is directly liable, including, by way of illustration but not of limitation, certificates of deposit, drafts, money orders and traveler’s checks, that, with the exception of money orders and traveler’s checks, has been outstanding for more than five (5) years from the date it was payable, or from the date of its issuance if payable on demand, unless the owner has within the time period corresponded in writing with the banking or financial organization or business association concerning it, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking or financial organization or business association. Any sum payable on money orders that has been outstanding for more than seven (7) years after its issuance, or any sum payable on traveler’s checks that has been outstanding for more than fifteen (15) years from the date of its issuance, unless the owner has within the time period corresponded in writing with the banking or financial organization or business association concerning it, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking or financial organization or business association;
(B) No sum payable on a traveler’s check, money order or similar written instrument, other than a third-party bank check, may be subjected to the custody of the state as unclaimed property unless:

(i) The records of the issuer show that the traveler’s check, money order or similar written instrument was purchased in this state;
(ii) The issuer has its principal place of business in this state and the records of the issuer do not show the state in which the traveler’s check, money order or similar written instrument was purchased; or
(iii) The issuer has its principal place of business in this state and the records of the issuer show the state in which the traveler’s check, money order or similar written instrument was purchased and the laws of the state of purchase do not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property;

(4) (A) Any surplus amount resulting from the sale or disposal of safe deposit box contents by banking institutions pursuant to § 45-2-907, if the proceeds cannot be credited to an existing customer account upon sale, and any unsold contents.  Any credit of these proceeds to a customer account will not be considered as account activity under subdivisions (1) and (2);
(B) For any person, other than a bank, savings and loan association or savings bank, any funds or other personal property removed from a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository or agency or collateral deposit box on which the lease or rental period has expired due to nonpayment of rental charges or other reasons that have been unclaimed by the owner for more than two (2) years from the date on which the lease or rental period expired; or any surplus amount arising from the sale thereof pursuant to law that has been unclaimed by the owner for one (1) year; and
(5) Property described above, without regard to any activity or inactivity within specified abandonment periods, whose owner is known to the holder to have died and left no one to take the property by will and no one to take the property by intestate succession.  Title 66, Chap. 29, §66-29-104.

Unclaimed funds held by life insurance corporations.

(a) Unclaimed funds held and owing by a life insurance corporation shall be presumed abandoned if the provisions of this section and § 66-29-103 are satisfied. If a person other than the insured or annuitant is entitled to the funds and no address of such person is known to the corporation or if it is not definite and certain from the records of the corporation what person is entitled to the funds,it is presumed that the last known address of the person entitled to the funds is the same as the last known address of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the corporation.

(b) (1) ”Unclaimed funds,” as used in this section, means all moneys held and owing by any life insurance corporation unclaimed and unpaid for more than five (5) years after the moneys became due and payable as established from the records of the corporation under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or terminated. A life insurance policy not matured by actual proof of the death of the insured is deemed to be matured and the proceeds thereof are deemed to be due and payable if such policy was in force when the insured attained the limiting age under the mortality table on which the reserve is based, unless the person appearing entitled thereto has within the preceding five (5) years:

(A) Assigned, readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy, or subjected the policy to loan; or
(B) Corresponded in writing with the life insurance corporation concerning the policy. Moneys otherwise payable according to the records of the corporation are deemed due and payable although the policy or contract has not been surrendered as required.

(2) “Unclaimed funds” includes all moneys held and owing by any life insurance corporation under this subdivision to any owner who is known to the company to have died and left no one to take such moneys by will and no one to take such moneys by intestate succession. Title 66, Chap. 29, §66-29-105.

Undistributed assets and obligations of business associations and utilities.

(a) The following funds held or owing by any business association or by any utility are presumed abandoned:

(1) Any deposit made by a subscriber with a utility to secure payment, any sum overpaid, or any sum paid in advance for utility services to be furnished, less any lawful deductions, that has remained unclaimed by the person appearing on the records of the utility entitled thereto for more than two (2) years after the termination of the services for which the deposit, overpayment, or advance payment was made;
(2) Any sum that a utility or a business association has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency, together with any interest thereon, less any lawful deductions, which has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than two (2) years after it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund, whether or not the final determination or order requires any person entitled to a refund to make a claim for it; and
(3) Property described above, without regard to any activity or inactivity within specified abandonment periods, whose owner is known to the holder to have died and left no one to take the property by will and no one to take the property by intestate succession.

(b) Any utility which possesses a deposit or other sum which is subject to be presumed abandoned pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the subscriber who is entitled to such deposit or sum of such possession within one hundred twenty (120) days of the commencement of the two-year period pursuant to subsection (a). Title 66, Chap. 29, §66-29-106.

Undistributed dividen

Related Tennessee Legal Forms