Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee

Q: My tenant’s AC stopped working one evening. I missed her calls and she called repair man herself.

She got it fixed and texted me she would just deduct from rent. I know this isn’t legal but what is Landlords recourse? Can I withhold deposit for the repairs? It was a matter of a few hours, not even 24hrs to remedy on my pair.

1 Lawyer Answer
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: If she doesn't pay the correct amount of rent- that is a breach of the lease. She can only withhold rent in very limited circumstances, and as you say, it does not appear that she gave you enough advance notice or time to perform any repairs ( this assumes you are located in an area covered by the landlord and tenant act). If the repairs were justified, and the bill is reasonable, have you really been damaged? The tenant needs to be instructed that she has breached the lease, but it may not justify an eviction.

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