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Tennessee Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Are sellers required to keep utilities on for the final walkthrough?

This home is in Tennessee. Sellers have turned off power 5 days before closing. Our contract states that home is to be in same condition as the date of the bonding sales contract for the walk through. I assumed that meant utilities.

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Sep 15, 2019

That would depend upon how the contract reads, but common sense would tell you that a purchaser should have required it as a condition of signed the contract.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: In TN when you sign a repair, replace agreement, and then the seller won't sign it what recourse do we have?

The seller would not do all the repairs listed on the home inspection so we agreed to do the repairs she did not want to do. we signed the agreement, in good faith now she will not sign it.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 13, 2019

So.... It appears that you made a new agreement to perform repairs yourself. That is, no breach of contract apparently. And it is doubtful you would collect anyway. You made a mistake modifying the Contract yourself, and possibly should have walked. Always have an attorney in any real... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
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.

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 13, 2019

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: My grandfather passed away and left his estate in my name. My grandmother is still alive and the bank is threatening

foreclosure, because they owe $27,000. As the property owner what are my options?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 9, 2019

If the bank is threatening foreclosure- that usually means they have a lien on the property, and if you acquired that property by inheritance, you acquired the property SUBJECT to the Banks lien: this means that if you want to keep the property, you will have to pay the loan. You don't owe the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: My landlord wants me to pay to get a water damaged countertop replaced in my kitchen, but I was not negligent.

They cited improper wiping, but I know I did not expose the area to water beyond normal use. I strongly suspect the problem is due to the laminate countertop not being properly installed and/or sealed where the countertop meets the backsplash piece. What recourse do I have?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 9, 2019

If you refuse to pay, the landlord is likely to try to evict you. Ultimately, you could go to court and let a Judge decide what caused the damage.

If they evict you, the landlord will try to withhold your security deposit.

I would not agree to pay for damages I did not cause, but...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: i am loaning money for a house flip. I will have a promissory note. Is that enough to protect my investment?

The house is to be short term leased from the current owner during the renovation, so the person I am loaning to won't own the property until the day before it is re-sold.

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 5, 2019

NO- if I were you, I would not loan money on real estate without a lien on that real estate. If the deal goes bad, you want to be able to force a sale of the property to get your money back. The current owner will need to sign the note and a deed of trust/mortgage.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: If contracts are signed is property and dwellings considered sold even if sellers have 60 days to vacate
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 2, 2019

Transfer of title is by deed usually. Without a deed the buyer only has an equitable conversion, which is enforced by specific performance of the contract. Buyer may also need to file a detainer warrant after title has been obtained or declared by a Court.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: What happenes if seller doesn’t honor contract
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 2, 2019

Read your contract verbatim. It may have a liquidated damages clause. Otherwise the buyer can sue for Specific Performance of the Contract. Alot of times the seller owes a commission to the agent, and there may be an earnest money fund up for grabs. But the buyer had better performed a title... Read more »

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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 him in... 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: My roommate assaulted me with a fire arm. My land lord won’t allow me to break lease.

Roommate hasn’t been removed from the lease. If found not guilty, he will be living with me again on the 24th. My landlord will not let me give my 60 day notice without my assaulting roommate’s signature. He has a huge drinking problem. My roommate was arrested and tazed by the police.

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 28, 2019

Consider seeking an order of protection. That could prevent the roommate from coming back to the house. Consult local counsel for your best option.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: what does buyer's obligation under this agreement shall survive the closing of the sale from seller to buyer and

Constitute a lien on the real estate until released by the seller means?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 21, 2019

I would have to examine the instruments to really know. But it sounds like it is just sale contract terms which incorporate the note and deed of trust terms (obligations), which of course exist after the closing (final execution) of the sale contract. Apparently this is an owner financed land... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: I have a tenant that has not paid rent in three months she finally moved out and moved to Tennessee house with Maine.

She fluttered part of the house damaged walls ceiling and doors. Good luck at state so I couldn’t feel her I think the collection agency after her and she refuses to pay. What are my options to get the money she owes over six grand? Can I sue her and Tennessee myself or should I let the credit... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 20, 2019

You might file a Sessions suit for the Lease Breach by not paying, if you know how to serve her. If you get a Tennessee Judgment for the Rent owing, you can file it as a Judgment Lien in whatever County in Maine she lives in. I do not know how many years the Lien will be good for, but this may... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: I have a tenant that has not paid rent in three months she finally moved out and moved to Tennessee house with Maine.

She floored part of the house damaged walls ceiling and doors. Then left the state so I couldn’t sue her. I hire a collection agency to finder her. She is refuses to pay. What are my options to get the money she owes over six grand? Can I sue her in Tennessee myself what are the rule there or... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 20, 2019

What does the lease say about damages or venue? Your question is also confusing - did she lease property in Tennessee and move to Maine, or the other way? Typically, you sue the person where they leased the property but you will need to serve her with the lawsuit where she lives now. Here in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: My month to month tenant moved out at the end of July. Her son and his girlfriend, who were her house guests, did not.

I changed the locks but they got into the house anyway. How do I get them out? Since they were never tenants and have never paid rent, do they have legal standing? I want to sell the house.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 19, 2019

File a Detainer Warrant today. It must be served or posted. You or your property manager must go to Court and ask for possession. If they are not out in ten days, you must get a Writ of Possession and get it executed.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: If a house is jointly owned, may only one of the owners sign the agreement with a RE agent to sell it?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 19, 2019

ALL the owners must sign if the contract is to be binding. However, any single owner can force a sale through partition.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: I live in Tennessee, my husband bought a townhouse 2 years ago but I wasn't able to be on the mortgage because...

Of my credit. If my husband was to pass away or anything happened to him would the house be passed to me as I did have to sign?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 8, 2019

You must double-check the DEED ( not the same document as the "mortgage" or "deed of trust"- both relate only to the loan). If your name is on the deed along with your husbands', you are a co-owner with him and upon death, it would pass immediately to you. If your name in not on the deed, he can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is there any statute in Tennessee for extended guests in Tennessee? My tenant has moved a boyfriend into the property .

I do not have a clause addressing extended guests in my rental agreement.

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 5, 2019

If he's not on the lease then you could serve him with proper notice to vacate the property and file a detainer action. Also, consider updating your lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: Can a landlord utilize the security deposit of a tennant's in payment of utility bills in the state of Tennessee?

Although the lease stipulated that the renter (me) would pay for the electric utilities, at no time during the course of the lease (nor the five or so months following its end when I resided on the premises as a month-to-month (leaseless) tenenat) did the landlord broach the subject of the... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Jul 31, 2019

Review the terms of your lease. That may contain the answer. Security deposits can be used for unpaid utilities subject to compliance with the lease and/or the Landlord Tenant Act.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: I am one of four siblings who own and operatea family farm which we incorporated.

One family member plans to place her assets

in an irrevocable trust.

How will this impact the sale of the farm

and the distribution of the income from this sale?

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

Not sure what your question is about. But sister's Trust Corpus will be legally owned by a Trustee, who will at least own, pay taxes, receive income, and possibly manage her former assets which she conveys into the Trust. It sounds like you plan a Sale already. The sister's tax consequences... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: Paying my landlord's property tax for 3yrs. Lived here for 4yrs. Landlord can't be reached. How can I get the title?

I live in Nashville TN. My landlord may be in prison for tax evasion but I'm unsure. I haven't been able to get in contact with anyone about the estate and I don't believe the landlord granted power of attorney to anyone. I've been living on and maintaining this property for 4-4 1/2 years. The... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 29, 2019

Paying the Taxes for 20 consecutive years can get you a presumptive Title. Then possibly file a Quiet Title Action against any possible Heirs. Seven Years Adverse Possession is only a Defense to someone running you out in your case.

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