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Landlords beware: These actions can get you in trouble

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Eviction |

Renting out a property can be a very lucrative business in Tennessee. However, if a tenant does not pay the rent or habitually misses out on payments, it can harm operations.

If a landlord decides to one day take matters into their own hands and deal with a non-paying tenant personally, they must be aware that it could jeopardize their business and property rights.

Self-help eviction can cause legal disputes

If you are a landlord in Tennessee dealing with a tenant not paying the rent, taking direct action against them may harm your business.

These are some things that can get a landlord into serious trouble:

  • Changing the locks
  • Removing a tenant’s belongings
  • Entering a tenant’s space without permission
  • Shutting off utilities such as water, electricity and heat
  • Forcing them to move without prior notice

These actions are known as self-help evictions or illegal evictions. A tenant could take legal action against a landlord who does these things.

You can deal with a non-paying tenant legally

Landlords can deal with tenants who do not pay rent in several ways. These include:

  • Talking to them: If you are dealing with a tenant who frequently misses out or refuses to pay rent, you can try talking to them and finding out the reasons why. This may even resolve the situation.
  • Using cash-for-keys: You could offer them a cash-for-keys agreement, wherein you pay them a sum of money to leave a unit so that you can rent it out to someone else.
  • Evicting them: If all else fails, you could file for eviction to get them to vacate your property while avoiding a legal dispute.

Self-help evictions can harm a landlord’s business operations and property rights. There are many ways for a property owner to deal with non-paying tenants in a legal way that avoids disputes.