Glankler Brown Business Law. Period.
Tennessee law allows owners or managers to decide whether to allow tenants with pets to lease an apartment on property. For those communities which do allow pets, particularly those that allow dogs, a well thought out pet policy is very important to ensure the safety of tenants, visitors, staff, and the property itself.
A landlord may make the determination that a tenant has abandoned the apartment during the course of a lease term, and re-take possession without filing an FED and undertaking the standard court process, when certain threshold facts exist:
1. The tenant is unexplainably absent from the premises for more than thirty (30) days without payment of rent; or
2. The tenant has not paid rent for fifteen (15) days past the rental due date and the tenant has removed all of his/her personal property in the premises and the tenant has terminated the utilities to the premises.
Most residential leases and rental agreements in Tennessee require a security deposit prior to occupancy by the tenant. The security deposit is intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear and to cushion the financial blow for ownership in the event the tenant skips out early on the lease without paying.
The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) a/k/a H.R. 100, signed into law on December 19, 2003, by then President George W. Bush, includes provisions which protect service members from evictions during the course of their active service.
If a service member is (1) leasing an apartment, (2) the apartment is in the name of the service member, and (3) the service member has put management on notice of their active status, SCRA protects the service member who's monthly rent is $2,400.00 or less, from being evicted for a period of time if/when the service member has been deployed for active duty.
SCRA does not absolutely prevent a landlord from serving a termination notice for th non-payment of rent; but if the landlord knows of the military status, the landlord when filing suit must tell the court that the tenant is an active service member and the judge will then decide whether the service member’s status in the military materially affects his or her ability to pay the rent.
If the judge determines that status in the military materially affects the service member’s ability to pay the rent, the judge may stay the eviction for up to three months. If the judge decides otherwise, the lawsuit will continue and may result in an eviction.
In order for a service member to exercise his/her protection under the SCRA, the service member must demonstrate the following:
1. The lease was entered into prior to the commencement of active duty service.
2. The service member put management on notice of the military status at the time the lease was signed.
3. The lease was signed by or on behalf of the service member.
4. The apartment is occupied by either the active duty service member or the service member's dependents.
5. Military service materially affects his or her ability to pay rent.
6. The service member is currently in military service or was called to active-duty for a period of 180 days or more.
The service member must promptly deliver written notice to the landlord any time he/she is called to active duty or receives orders for active duty and must provide a copy of the reassignment or deployment order to management in order to implicate the protection. Oral notice is not sufficient.
Should you have any questions regarding the Service Members Civil Relief Act or how it might impact a tenant on your property, please do not hesitate to contact me at (901) 576-1701.
A tenant bankruptcy filing will impede a landlord's ability to proceed with filing an eviction proceeding or carrying out the court-ordered eviction process. A tenant can stop an eviction by filing for a Chapter 7 (Liquidation) or Chapter 13 (Wage Earner) bankruptcy. Once the tenant files for bankruptcy, federal law, under 11 U.S.C. §362(a)-(b), imposes an "automatic stay" which prevents all creditors, including landlords, from pursuing repayment of debt and/or eviction.