If you are a landlord, an eviction notice is an essential legal instrument you need to prepare with care. Customize your own Tennessee eviction notice with our step-by-step template designer.
Last Update May 19th, 2023
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- Eviction Notice Types
- Tennessee Eviction Laws
- Tennessee Eviction Process
- Tennessee Eviction Notice Sample
- FAQs About Tennessee Eviction Notices
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Eviction Notice Types
It’s necessary to provide the correct type of Tennessee eviction notice to the tenant you’re removing from your property. If you don’t, the eviction could be overturned or take significantly longer to complete.
You must give your tenant the precise legal document for the situation, detailing a valid legal reason for the eviction under TN statutes. This will also affect how long you must give the resident as notice before they have to leave the property.
As seen below, there are a few different options in Tennessee when completing an eviction.
14-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Payment)
If the tenant fails to pay rent, you can serve them with a 14-Day eviction notice. This requires the tenant to either pay the rent owed or to quit the property within 14 days.
Assuming the tenant pays the rent within this time given, the notice will be null and void. However, if payment isn’t made, and they still refuse to leave, the landlord can sue the tenant in court.
This type of eviction notice gives tenants 14 days to pay the rent or leave the property if they fail to pay within the contractually agreed time. If the tenant still doesn’t pay or vacate after the notice period ends, the landlord can take them to court.
30-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Compliance)
In the case of a lease violation, the landlord may issue a 30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance. This will often give the tenant 30 days to correct the breach before they will be obliged to leave the property.
However, unconditional 30-Day Non-Compliance notices can be issued too for more serious offenses. These don’t give the tenant any chance to correct their breach of the lease.
30-Day Notice to Quit (Month-to-Month)
Landlords with tenants on flexible monthly rental agreements may end the tenancy without cause, as long as they provide a 30-Day Eviction letter.
If this is used, the tenant must leave the property within 30 days of this notice being delivered.
Be aware, however, if you continue to accept rental payments during this period, the notice will be considered null and void. This also does not include any payments of owed back rent.
Immediate Notice to Quit (Prostitution or Drug Violations)
Immediate Notices to Quit can only be used in a situation where the tenant has engaged in certain kinds of illegal behavior, such as prostitution or drug-related activities. This allows the landlord in question to terminate the lease immediately.
3-Day Notice to Quit (Illegal Behavior)
A 3-day notice to quit can be used for other types of illegal behavior that pose an immediate threat. This type of behavior cannot be cured by the tenant, and they will have to vacate the property within 3 days.
Tennessee Eviction Laws
An eviction notice in Tennessee is only legally valid if it provides the correct amount of notice based on the purpose for the lease termination. The reason you evict the resident must also comply with TN law.
In Tennessee, you may evict someone for the following reasons:
|Nonpayment of rent||14 days notice (§ 66-28-505(a)(2)) & (§ 66-7-109)|
|Lease violations||30 days (§ 66-7-109(b))|
|Lease termination (month-to-month)||30 days (§ 66-28-512(b))|
|Illegal behavior (prostitution or drug violations)||Immediate (§ 66-7-107(a))|
|Illegal behavior (other types)||3 days (§ 66-28-517)|
Tennessee Eviction Process
There are a number of crucial steps to follow when evicting a tenant in Tennessee. These police how the notice must be served and what you’ll need to do if the tenant still refuses to vacate the property.
To successfully evict your tenant in TN with an eviction notice, you’ll need to do the following:
Serve a valid eviction notice giving the tenant sufficient time to leave based on the reasons for the lease termination.
The landlord may file for eviction with their local court, if the tenant refuses to leave on their own.
Both the landlord and tenant can argue their case in the court, once the hearing date arrives.
The judge will decide whether the eviction can be upheld or not. If it is upheld, you can ask the clerk of the court for a Writ of Possession.
When the Writ of Possession has been granted, the document can be given to your local law enforcement agent, who will remove the tenant and their property from your real estate.
Tennessee Eviction Notice Sample
When you prepare your own Tennessee eviction notice, it can be hard to have a clear idea of what the final document will look like. If you need a little extra guidance on how your legal document will appear, simply review our eviction notice sample below.
FAQs About Tennessee Eviction Notices
Before starting your eviction notice for real, it is sensible to understand the ins and outs of these important legal documents. Read more about Tennessee’s eviction notices in our FAQs below and learn how to use these forms effectively.
How Long Does It Take to Evict a Tenant in Tennessee?
In many cases, a Tennessee eviction can be completed in a couple of weeks. Once the eviction notice is served, the tenant will have between 14 - 30 days to vacate. If they comply, then the process will be over as soon as the notice period ends.
However, serving the eviction notice incorrectly can lead to delays in the process. Also, if the tenant refuses to vacate, eviction procedures can take somewhat longer. To go through the court process can take up to 3 months, depending on how busy the district or housing court system is at the time.
How to File for Eviction in Tennessee
If a tenant doesn’t comply after being served with a legally valid Tennessee eviction notice, it will be necessary to file a Forcible Entry and Detainer case against them. To do this, the landlord will need to visit their local courthouse, file the case with the clerk of the court, and provide the following evidence:
A copy of the lease agreement
The eviction notice that has been served (including proof of service)
Proof of any violations such as photographs, police reports, or receipts
Any witnessing parties to the violations
How Much Does It Cost to Evict Someone?
How much evicting a tenant costs will often depend on how long the removal process lasts. If you serve the TN eviction notice and that leads to a resolution of the dispute, or the tenant simply leaves as instructed, then the costs are very low (below $300 not including potentially lost rent).
However, if the tenant refuses to leave the property, this could lead to a more protracted and expensive legal case. If you need to seek legal advice or representation at any step of the process, this will of course carry much higher costs.