Understanding the Eviction Process: A Guide for Nashville Landlords

Understanding the Eviction Process: A Guide for Nashville Landlords

Approximately 13,000 evictions have been filed in Nashville in the past year. Handling evictions can be one of the most challenging aspects of being a landlord. No landlord wants to go through the process of evicting a tenant, but sometimes it becomes necessary.

If you have bad tenants, you can't take matters into their own hands. Taking actions like changing locks and shutting off utilities is illegal.

The eviction process must follow strict legal procedures. Any deviation from these procedures can lead to complications in the process. Below is a guide on how to conduct a legal eviction process in Nashville.

Step 1: Find a Legal Reason for Eviction

A property manager or landlord must have a valid reason to remove tenants legally. Valid reasons for eviction in Nashville, Tennessee include:

  • If your tenant violates the terms of the agreement
  • If your tenant fails to make rental payments
  • If your tenant participates in illegal activities
  • If your tenant commits material health or safety violations
  • Absence of a lease and rental agreement

Other than for these reasons, it'd be against the law for you to remove your tenant. Additionally, retaliatory evictions are illegal.

Step 2: Serve an Eviction Notice

Once you have a legal reason to evict your tenant, serve the relevant tenant notice. The written notice must be specific to the violation committed. It should also tell the tenant what they must do within the notice period, or else they will get evicted.

According to Nashville eviction laws, here are some notice types and rules:

Nonpayment of Rent

Often, rent collection becomes overdue five days after the due date in Tennessee. A 14-day Notice to Pay is required when tenants stop paying rent.

Lease Agreement Violations

The notice periods are 7 days for repeat offenders and 14 days for others. If a good tenant repairs property damage within 14 days, eviction proceedings must stop.

Absence of Lease or Rental Agreement

Landlords must serve a 10-day Notice to Quit to weekly rent-paying tenants. For monthly rent-paying tenants, serve a 30-day Notice to Quit.

Material Health & Safety Violation

Violations such as electrical tampering or excessive trash, require a 3-Day Notice. The tenant has 3 days to vacate.

Illegal Activity

It includes controlled substance activities, prostitution, violent crimes, and hazards. Ensure you initiate eviction with a 3-day Notice.

Step 3: Summons & Complaint

The next step is to file a complaint in court. You may have to pay around $200 in filing fees. A sheriff will serve the summons and complaint.

Step 4: Court Hearing & Judgment

Once the sheriff serves the summons and complaint to the tenant, the hearing will occur within 6 days. It's extendable to 15 days upon request.

If the tenant doesn't attend the hearing, the court issues a default judgment. It's often in favor of the property manager.

Step 5: Writ of Possession

A writ of possession is then issued about 10 days after a successful judgment. It allows the sheriff to remove the tenant and the landlord to change locks.

Conduct Evictions the Right Way

Understanding the evictions in Nashville is crucial for a smooth eviction process. If you're overwhelmed by the process, partner with PMI Main Source. We're your trusted property management company.

Feel free to reach out to us today and let us handle the legalities for you.