Landlord-Tenant Problems

Below you will find a variety of resources and forms that provide helpful information on how to address landlord-tenant problems. You will also find details on how to seek assistance or aid from a lawyer, if necessary.

Your Rights and Duties as a Renter (Booklets)

When renting property, it is important to know your rights and options before you move in, while you're living there, and when you move out.  During your tenancy, landlord-tenant disputes can be caused by many different issues including lease agreements, repairs, rent, eviction, and more. Knowing your rights will help you handle these issues more easily.


Know Your Legal Rights and Duties

In this pamphlet from Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands, you can find helpful information about the rights you have when you are renting property. You can reference this resource if you live in the following counties: Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Maury, Montgomery, Rutherford, Sevier, Shelby, Sullivan, Sumner, Washington, Williamson and Wilson.


Know Your Rights and Duties as a Renter

For all Tennessee counties not listed above, you can reference the above pamphlet to learn more about rural renter rights.


Can I be evicted during Coronavirus?  

A federal law provides protections to some renters for a period of time.  In Tennessee, your landlord is required to file an affidavit with the court stating that their property is not covered by the CARES Act before they may evict you.  

Learn more about the CARES Act here:

Databases of properties covered by the CARES Act:  

Pro Publica created a database that contains 177,000 buildings, with five or more units, that are protected by the Eviction Moratorium.

You should also search for your address in Tennessee’s state database, last updated in February 2020, to see if your landlord received a Low Income Housing Tax Credit.


Additional  Booklets:

The following booklets from Southeast Tennessee Legal Services can help if you are involved in a dispute with your landlord in Tennessee.


Instructions For Tenants In Detainer Actions Filed By Landlords

If your landlord has filed a detainer action against you, reference this resource to learn more about what you can do.


Instructions For Tenants Suing Landlords For Repairs, Return Of Security Deposits

If you are a tenant and looking to sue your landlord for the cost of repairs or the return of a security deposit, use this resource for more details on how to do so.


Instructions For Landlords Filing Detainer Actions

If you are a landlord and your tenant has breached the lease or has not paid rent on time, learn more about how to file a detainer action so that the court can restore possession to you.



The following videos from Legal Aid of East Tennessee provides tips on what tenants should do before moving into a new property. This information is available in both English and Spanish.

Renters’ Guide – 5 Things You Should Do BEFORE You Move In

Guía para Inquilinos - 5 Cosas Que Debe Hacer ANTES de Mudarse Adentro


Standard Court Forms for all of Tennessee

At this link, you can find approved court forms for all counties within Tennessee.


Legal Advice:

TN Free Legal Answers

If you are in Tennessee, the website, Free Legal Answers,  allows you to ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue at no cost.  It is fast and easy, and all you need is a computer. This is a FREE service for people who cannot afford a lawyer. 

How it works: 

  • You will answer a few questions to see if you qualify for their service. If you qualify, you will have the option to create an account.
  • If you are eligible, you can ask their volunteer attorneys your non-criminal question.
  • Once your question receives a response, you will get an email. You will need to sign into the website to read your response and ask any additional questions.

 Visit to sign up.

Find Representation:

Statewide Directory

The Statewide Directory provides information regarding Legal Aid Attorneys and other agencies by county in Tennessee.


Still need assistance? Please speak to a librarian at your local library – they may have additional resources to assist you.

Landlord-Tenant Problems

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