What Happens to Tenants with the Courts Closed?

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What Happens to Tenants with the Courts Closed?

In Tennessee, a landlord cannot force a tenant to move without going through the court’s eviction process. The courts in Tennessee are closed except for emergency cases. Eviction cases are not currently considered an emergency. Because the courts are closed to eviction cases, your landlord cannot force you to move out.

What can my landlord NOT do?

  • Force you to move out without suing you in court and winning
  • Lock you out of your place
  • Remove the doors from your place
  • Throw your stuff out of your place
  • Shut off your utilities like electric, gas, or water

What can my landlord do?

  • Give you notice to move out. The landlord can end your lease if you broke the lease
  • Sue to evict you
    • Your landlord can still file an eviction lawsuit, but the court date won’t be until the courts re-open. Right now, the courts are supposed to open on April 1
  • Continue to charge you for rent and damages
    • Your landlord still has the right to charge you for rent while you live there. Your landlord can also charge you for anything you do to hurt the property

What if my landlord does something they aren’t supposed to do?

  • Call the police or Sheriff’s department. Tell them you’re being illegally evicted
  • Call Legal Aid Society or a private attorney to ask for help
    • You can call Legal Aid Society at 1-800-238-1443