Rentals in Memphis>Question Details

Wobblysquare, Home Buyer in Memphis, TN

Is TN considered a Landlord or Tenant friendly state when it comes to Rental property?

Asked by Wobblysquare, Memphis, TN Thu Aug 4, 2011

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My experience as a landlord is that TN is relatively landlord-friendly. Tenants have very little leverage if they are clearly in default of the lease (especially if they are behind on rent). In my experience it is not a problem to get a judgment in court for possession of the property. The eviction process is relatively easy provided you take the proper steps and do it in a timely fashion.

It's worth it to have a good eviction attorney. My attorney makes evictions as quick and headache-free as they can possibly be (although none of them are without frustrations, obviously).

You can have a tenant out of your property in as little as 30 days if they are in default.

It's always easier to avoid eviction altogether, though - proper tenant screening on the front end is so important. It's important to be very upfront with your tenants from the get-go, have a very CLEAR and detailed lease that outlines the events of default and the ramifications.

Hope this helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 4, 2011
You would sue the tenant for damages and be awarded a judgement for damages. Depending on the financial situation of your tenant will depend on whether or not you ever get that money. The homeowner unfortunately usually has to eat that expense. Your property management company should always require that everyone over the age of 18 living in the home must be on the lease. That gives you more people to file a judgement against and gives you a better chance of collecting money for damages. I always collect a security deposit equal to 1 months rent. It is also important to hire a property management company that heavily screens the tenants. They should check their credit, 2 or 3 years of rental history, last 2 years of employment, and run a criminal background check. Your property management company should perform move-in and move-out inspections as well (with the tenants present each time). The company you hire should work for you and not let the tenants ever think they will have the upper hand. Strictness from the first phone call will let the prospects know who calls the shots. I make each person wanting to view a home get pre-qualified over the phone and everyone over 18 who will be living in that home must be at that first appointment. These measures aren't 100% foolproof, but they decrease the odds of getting a tenant who is irresponsible and who will tear up the property or skip out on rent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
thank you for your answer. Certainly gives me more confidence about investing in TN. Can i ask what typically happens with malicious tenant damage. If the tenant does 10k in malicious damage and the security is 1k, what is the likely outcome
1) For tenant
2) For Landlord
- Comments in regards to insurance (typically included or excluded?)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
PRO LANDLORD - I am a Property Manager in Memphis and TN is definitely a landlord friendly state. All you need to do is visit the courthouse to see this. Getting a judgement and the eviction process is relatively quick and easy here in TN for a landlord. Tenants have to pay rent - no matter what! Air conditioning go out and the tenant doesn't think they should pay rent? Guess again. The landlord hasn't fixed a toilet and now the tenant isn't going to pay rent until he does. Good luck with that. The landlord is gonna win in court almost everytime. He's probably going to be forced by the judge to fix the issue, but he will also be awarded a judgement for the amount owed and the tenant will now have a judgement against them on their credit! A judgement within 3 years is usually a disqualifier for renting from most property management companies.
In the event you have a tenant that is injured - a ceiling fan falls on them during the night - well that is why you need good insurance. I was a license insurance agent for 8 years. That would be covered by the liability portion of your insurance policy. It covers your unintended negligence. I am no longer a licensed insurance agent, so please speak your agent as they know your financial situation and can recommend insurance to best fit your needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 5, 2011
In an effort to clarify. I was hoping that if a tenant is not paying rent that the eviction proces should still be straight forward.
More what i was wondering was...
1) If tenant trips on carpet and sues landlord for "damages", how is this the sort of claim viewed and treated by courts...are they more sympathetic to landlord or tenant
2) If tenant inficts malicious damage on property - but remains in it, how easy / hard would it be to evict

Just trying to get a feel (prior to any purchase) as to where Memphis sits on the scale of things.

ie PRO tenant.....or PRO landlord.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 5, 2011
Hi Wobbly....

Great, you got a landlord answer, a tenant answer, and a what are you asking answer. Back to square one. I have no idea about TN being either, however, I do know if you do your due dillegence, and screen carefully and explore references, you should not have to learn whom was right!

Best wishes, Jim, American Bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 5, 2011
TN laws favor the tenant. Landlords have very little leverage in TN courts.

Gerry A. Peak
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 4, 2011
Not sure what your asking. If you are a landlord and the tenant doesn't pay you can take them to court provided you have a copy of a lease, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 4, 2011
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