Every day, our firm receives calls about issues between landlords and tenants. We have heard countless accounts of landlords and property owners failing to maintain a property, attempting to improperly evict a tenant, attempting to charge tenants exorbitant fines/charges/fees, or harassing tenants about rent when the landlord has failed to do his/her part.

Fortunately, the Tennessee Legislature has provided us with the Tennessee Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act. This act applies to any county in Tennessee with more than 68,000 people, which includes Shelby County. The Act has wonderful provisions that protect Tenants and Landlords from common abuses of the system. For instance:

  • A mandatory 5 day grace period after rent is due before it is late.
  • Late fees cannot exceed 10% of past due rent.
  • Specific procedures for inspection and determining damage to property.
  • Specific procedures on how to handle security deposits.

These and many other protections are available under this act, yet many landlords still get away with fraudulent and predatory practices because most tenants are not represented by council. We see too many cases where our tenants did not hire an attorney to fight their landlord and to go to trial, and ended up with massive judgments against them. In some of these cases, we’ve been able to appeal the case and reduce, or completely remove the judgment against our clients based on the provisions in this statute.