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What duties does a landlord in Tennessee have?

Many people in Tennessee rent a home, rather than owning one. Also, sometimes it makes more financial sense for a business to rent its premises rather than purchasing a building. Moreover, renting out a house, an apartment complex or a building can be a lucrative endeavor for Tennessee landlords. However, landlords in the state do have legal duties with which they must comply.

First, landlords must make sure they are in compliance with any necessary housing and building codes that have a material effect on the residents' safety and health. In addition, landlords need to make sure the premises are kept in a manner that is both habitable and fit. Any common areas in the premises the landlord is renting out must be kept both safe and clean. Finally, if there are four or more units on the premises, the landlord needs to ensure they are equipped with the necessary waste receptacles.

A landlord and tenant may execute a written agreement that the tenant will be responsible for certain activities such as making repairs, maintaining the premises, altering the premises or completing other tasks. However, any such agreement must be made in good faith, and it cannot be executed simply so that the landlord can get out of performing these duties. Moreover, the performance of such an agreement by a tenant cannot be made as a condition of a lease.

It is important that landlords in Tennessee comply with all their legal duties and responsibilities. Tenants may take legal action against a landlord if they feel the landlord is not meeting his or her lawful obligations. Landlords who are facing such situations, or simply want more information on landlord and tenant issues are encouraged to discuss their situation with an attorney.

Source: ncsl.org, "Tennessee Landlord And Tenant Duties," Accessed Dec. 11, 2017

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