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Tenants in Tennessee have legal duties as renters

Many people in Tennessee who rent their home have a basic understanding of the obligations their landlord has to them, as well as their rights as a tenant. However, tenants in Tennessee also have obligations to their landlords that are equally important.

Under Tennessee Code §66-28-401, tenants have duties with regard to the premises they rent. Tenants must comply with health and safety codes. They must keep their units as clean and safe as their unit was when they first moved in. They must dispose of all their rubbish in designated receptacles. They cannot purposely or negligently destroy, deface or damage the premises. They cannot commit a crime on the premises. Finally, they cannot disturb their neighbor's right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

Per Tennessee Code §66-28-505, if the tenant materially fails to comply with one of the above duties or the rental agreement in a manner that has a material effect on safety and health, the landlord has the right to terminate the rental agreement after providing the tenant with written notice. This is an important right of the landlord, as the tenant's breach of their duties could reduce the value of the landlord's property.

Landlords deserve to have the buildings they rent out kept in good condition by their tenants. Unfortunately, some tenants will disregard their duties towards their landlord. When this happens, the landlord may be able to terminate their lease with the tenant. This post only glosses over the complex topic of a landlord's rights following a tenant's breach of their legal obligations. It does not replace the advice of an attorney. Those who want further information on landlord and tenant issues may want to seek professional guidance, so they can better understand their duties and remedies under the law.

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