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Tennessee Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: I live on a private road, I have an easement agreement so that I may go to my home. The neighbor behind me does not have

One however, it’s her parents that are constantly coming and going from her home past my home. Her father does not get out of the road. Today I was in the spot where I could not get over (big ditch) and he could and yet he kept coming and almost side swipped my car. My question is if he would... Read more »

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Mar 24, 2021

You have a number of issues here -

1. Easement- if the other people do not have an easement or right to enter - they shouldn't be using the area. However, over a long period of time they can gain rights - so whoever is the holder of the underlying easement needs to protect the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Do you need a jury trial or bench hearing for easement issue
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Feb 25, 2021

Either party can initially demand a jury. However most Declaratory Judgment/Injunction Actions involving Easements in Tennessee are usually before the Chancery Courts without a jury. In Chancery, jury trials are sometimes held with the jury determining special factual issues. There are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Land, with no living owners, no one paying taxes on it, can someone else catch up the taxes and aquire the land?

Both owners have died and no one has claimed the land or paid taxes on it in at least 3 years. How can someone else legally acquire the property?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Feb 8, 2021

A title search is a must here. Then you will know who the owners are now. Also contact the Tax Assessor about when a Tax Sale might occur. Ultimately you may be able to get a Deed from the owners or buy at the Tax Sale, for which you will need an attorney to actually put the property in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Joint land owner in TN. 1 owner now paying mortgage.

I purchased with a joint down payment land in TN (50/50 payment) however the joint owner is not making his payment of the mortgage. What legal recourse do I have to demand payment or file something to withdraw him from the deed?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 9, 2020

You will probably need to file an Action For Partition. Hopefully you all have some equity in the property, or it may not be ordered sold. Hire a competent Tennessee attorney. You could also make a small offer to buy him out and get a Quit Claim Deed back.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: an easement runs by my house and heavy traffic and speeding I have children, can i put a speed limit sign up?
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 18, 2020

The County Commission sets speed limits and orders the erection of signage. Talk to your Commissioner.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: I live in Fentress County Tn and have a cave on my side where cave is about halfway up side of cliff.

New neighbor who has contract on the house next door, his property runs next to my cave. He wants to cut down all trees.He told me he could not afford the house and wanted to bring in sawmill company to pay him to harvest all the trees on land. When it rains all rain goes down in this cliff with... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 6, 2020

You can file suit in Chancery to enjoin activity that will directly destroy your property. You are entitled to adjacent and subjacent ground support of your bordering lands. But it will be expensive, requiring experts, and you will need a competent attorney to try it. Injunctions will also... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: A builder wants to run his personal utility lines through my property against my protestations, can I prevent this?

The builder has purchased land behind my property to build his personal residence, and rather than follow the road to install his utilities he wants to cut through my property to shorten the distance and cost of installation. I've informed him we will not allow this action, and he is... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 30, 2020

You will need to hire a competent attorney now to conduct title searches on each tract. Then request Chancery to issue an Injunction after you post a Bond. It will be expensive and difficult, and you could lose due to his necessity. Once the lines go up, you have effectively lost.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: I purchased a home out of forclosure in October 2019. Who owns a small building in my backyard?

My neighbor, who also owned owned the home in the past, put a no trespassing sign on the door the day I purchased. The building sits extremely close to the property line if not splitting it. I had the tax record pulled and the building has been on the tax record for my lot since the house was built... Read more »

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jun 22, 2020

If the neighbor has cut the power, and put up a no trespassing sign- if you intend to maintain a claim to the building (and the property it is on- you will likely need to hire an attorney to pursue your interests. Boundary disputes are tough. If the building was erected by the owner to your... Read more »

Q: I inherited family property from my father in Feb 2011 at that time my father had gave permission for his niece to place

Her new mobile home on said property in 2010. This property has 2 separate lots for 2 separate homes with electric at both locations but only water for main dwelling. In 2011 I purchased a mobile home and placed it on my 2nd lot & negotiated the same terms for family that my dad set which was... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 18, 2020

I assume you filed a Detainer Warrant, which the Defendant is appealing de novo to Circuit. With this he will need to post a Bond, which you need to argue the amount of. His paying taxes may allow him to claim it, but that number of years does not give him a presumption of ownership. Adverse... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: What type of lawyer would I need to battle a sand and Gravel mining operation near family grounds?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Apr 8, 2020

It looks like you already have an idea - you correctly chose Land Use (going to the issues of the types of activity the land is zoned for). Depending on what your issues are, you could possibly benefit from someone who has insight into additional categories (Real Estate, if your matter is based... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Civil Rights for Tennessee on
Q: Reverse the signature of land deed due to Diagnosis of MS. Signed over threat of nursing home.

My condition is stable and I live on my own.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Feb 24, 2020

Not sure of your question. But the only way you will set aside that conveyance is for the Grantees, and now owners, to convey it back to you. I suggest a Life Estate/ Remainder Deed.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: I'd like to buy about 1/5 acre of land from my neighbor in Knox County, TN. What steps should I take?

The couple who owns the property is going through a divorce and planning to sell the property soon, but has not yet listed it. Should I approach them before they put it on the market?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Feb 3, 2020

You can make an offer now, while both own it. But it will not be simple, as you need a survey, and may possibly have to work out an easement. You need a title search first. After you do all this, the conveyance may not be made.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: Can someone else legally have my land surveyed without my permission in the state of Tennessee
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jan 20, 2020

Absolutely. A TN Registered Licensed Land Surveyor has a License to allow him to survey virtually anywhere in TN. He is not trespassing. Obviously every landowners' property has common corners to someone else's land.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: I bought land from someone who never filed easement.

I bought land from an individual who never went and filed the easement I actually didn't even know what an easement was until I put the land up for sale on the market and the realtor needed a copy of it I had to worry the original seller for four months just to get it and the original easement... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 9, 2019

I doubt the seller can get owners of other properties to execute a Deed of Easement for the benefit of your land. Suing for breach of warranties will be useless also. You probably have no choice but to either file suit in

Chancery Court to have an Easement Declared (which will be...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: We want to buy some property but on the power lines at the side of the property it has a sign that says wetland 29

What does this mean?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 5, 2019

I do not know what "29" is, but wetland means you can do nothing with a generally defined area of the property. It sounds like TVA has run their easement very carefully. You may not wish to buy t he property. Or you might hire a competent attorney to conduct a title search, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: I bought some land from someone cash money and now I can't sell ?

I bought land from an individual last year, I paid cash money & she ensured me that she could type of the deed. Me not really knowing the importance of the lawyer(but I do now !!) I said ok & she did so. I went to courthouse & filed it. 6 months later I decided to sell through a Realty... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 5, 2019

You have not identified what your problems are. But I suspect access to the property and derivation of title will be definitely part of your title problems. This was not something to do without a lawyer. Even if you are able to sue for breach of warranties, it is doubtful it will actually help.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: Who owns the property that is located between the road & the sidewalk? (Kingsport, Sullivan Co., TN)
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Nov 6, 2019

Usually that area is part of the Highway Right of Way, even though it may not be paved or traveled upon regularly. Sometimes TN DOT maps will disclose this. At the very least the public has the area dedicated to them and/or the public has a prescriptive use easement over it. If it is a large,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Personal Injury, Car Accidents and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: If a city street has been officially studied & identified as overcrowded for 5+ yrs and city continues to approve

development projects that add even more traffic to the same street without any improvements and traffic accidents increase as a result of overly congested streets, could the city be held liable for injuries and damage to vehicles since they knew the street was over capacity but continued to... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 23, 2019

You raise an interesting point, and in a textbook-type analysis, your argument would be strong. But in reality, this takes everywhere, and most courts would not be likely to consider such arguments. Most courts would limit their analysis to the immediate parties at hand. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: In Tennessee... how long do restrictive covenants run?

The HOA that I am a member of has restrictive covenants, and no expiration date is listed on the document. The covenants appear to run with the land, as most of the subdivision is still just land, and not many homes are built yet. Are the covenants permanent, or does Tennessee code have something... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 24, 2019

Generally speaking covenants running with the land are perpetual. The Master Deed may have some limitations or the HOA may fall into disarray. They may become unenforceable, but are not rescinded per se, as once they are out there, it is forever. You might try to transfer in violation of them... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: Owned home in Nashville,TN almost 12 yrs.My neighbor 2 doors down bought the house between us 4Airbnb/Rs13 enchroached

My land when he said he would not dig up my land and if did would let me know,. He took the chain link fence down 30' that's been up for years without my permission, to bring in bulldozer/grader.for building a drench. he could of taken down his fence since he owns the property . I asked... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 30, 2019

You have a Boundary Line Dispute, and actions for Trespass and possible Tort Damages. You probably need a competent attorney to perform title searches on both properties, and may need a boundary line survey. All of this is expensive, and you will probably recover very little but defend your... Read more »

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