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Tennessee Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on

Q: Landlord let neighbors take down fence and drive through our yard without notice while no one was home is that legal?

My husband noticed that a section of the barbed wire fence between our rental property and the neighbors field had a section missing and there were tractor tire marks in our driveway and grass. He texted our landlord and he said yes he gave the neighbors permission to do so. This morning I watched... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 19, 2019

You are not the owner, and the owner can grant easements and licenses.

You might claim the traffic is interfering with your exclusive possession and use of the Leasehold, but what would be your damages? By the time you went to Court, your Lease would be over or the Landlord would...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on

Q: is a new development liable for damage they cause to my property? flooding from raised elevation?

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 24, 2019

Depending on more facts, yes they could be. I recommend you consult with an experienced construction law attorney to determine what your legal options are in this situation. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: Can a new subdivision direct the rain runoff onto my property, to the point that when it rains my buildings are flooded?

This was reported to codes a couple of months ago, but the drainage on my property is getting worse not better.

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 23, 2019

The law describes this as a "nuisance" - this is a legal term beyond the normal meaning of just an aggravating situation. Take lots of pictures of the existing problem , and hopefully there are other witnesses in addition to you who can describe how the development of the subdivision has created... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on

Q: Our development has restrictive covenants. Several homeowners are violating these covenants. What can we do? No HOA.

A variety of infractions from above ground pools, parking RVs and boats permanently in driveways, commercial vehicles at home every night and failure to keep unimproved lots mowed. We feel this is all impacting our own homes value. We bought expecting the rules to apply to everyone.

Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 22, 2019

You and other affected landowners can sue the offending landowners.

Normally you would sue for a Mandatory Injunction in Chancery Court.

But why? No damages are recoverable and you are talking about suing alot of your neighbors. Subdivisions are a bad place to buy to start with,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: If I am renting a house to own from a individual and bank forecloses on it what rights do I have?

Having minor children. And doing all repairs myself

Anthony M. Avery answered on May 23, 2019

The Bank will take subject to your status as a renter. But it is very easy to declare you in default and file a Detainer Warrant on you. You get served then go to Court. If not out after 10 days , the Bank will get a Writ of Possession issued and executed by the Sheriff. The Bank is the owner... Read more »

Q: Hello, I currently bought land and the owner before stated the septic tank was on the property.

A week after closing my realtor sends me a message from the seller stating they took out the septic tank and I can’t find any documents. Is this legal? And if not how can I go about getting this corrected.

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 6, 2019

This is too complicated to answer without reviewing your contact , any disclosures and the closing documents. It may be that some misrepresentations were made during the sale, and if so, you may be entitled to rescind the contract ( give the land back and get your money back) or alternatively, you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Family Law for Tennessee on

Q: My grandma passed and left alot of land to my mother, brother, sister and I.

There was almost 600 acres there and i owned part in every bit of it. Well I recwntly moved back into town and heard that my mom has sold all of the land and my siblings got the suarw of money that was rightfully theirs, but I was just completely cut out all together. There is probably 600,000... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Feb 15, 2019

You have only stated you got an ownership interest in the Property from your Grandmother. However you have not stated how this came about, such as a Deed, Will or an Inheritance. You will need a Title Search at a minimum, and possibly an Affidavit of Heirship. If you are actually a Tenant In... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on

Q: I have an easement and I am landlocked (washed out access) and can't find the owner. He moved out of state what can I do

I live in Tennessee

Anthony M. Avery answered on Jan 21, 2019

Apparently you have the Dominant Estate and enjoy an Easement over the Servient Estate. Try to find who the responsible taxpayer is from the Tax Assessor and his address. You probably can rebuild the right of way, but do no expand it beyond what you already had or what an appurtenant Easement... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Environmental, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: I have a creek on my property, approximately 3-5ft deep, and I want to dig out a watering hole for livestock. Can I ?

I am currently in the process of fencing in an area that encloses a section of the creek on my property. The creek has a wide location where a secondary stream once ran around a dune, but now it's back down to the one main creek bed. I want to dig out the dune area, and open this naturally widened... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Jan 1, 2019

Your downstream Landowners are the ones that might give you problems. If your pond stops the water flow of the creek beyond your property, then the adjoining Landowners may possibly sue you for Damages, an Injunction, Declaratory Judgment, etc. It may even be a benefit to the downstream... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: A corporation just bought the three neighboring houses next to mine with intentions to put a hotel on the properties.

A corporation just bought the three neighboring houses next to mine with intentions to put a hotel on the properties. What options do I have, as this will not only be a nuisance, but create traffic issues, make the area unsafe (due to the type of people it will potentially bring in), and... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 28, 2018

You will want to check the Zoning Class of each Parcel. If the Zoning does not allow the correct Commercial Use, complain to the Codes Officer, Zoning Commission and the County Mayor. Filing suit for an Injunction will be very expensive and difficult, and will probably fail.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: I have a property with an ingress/egress easement for the drive that is already there.

Once the drive is in place can it be used by both myself and the easement owner legally since I own the land?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 22, 2018

Not enough information provided to accurately answer-This depends on the wording of the easement-unless it is specifically restricted in some way, the landowner can still use the property as long as the intended purpose/use of the easement is not unreasonably interfered with.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: Is a landlord required to give a place to live if the house they are living in becomes non residential?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jun 21, 2018

Your question doesn't include enough details to truly provide an accurate answer, but unless there is a written lease that says otherwise, I would say probably not. If some zoning board or governmental entity has changed the residential status of the property, that is no the landlord's fault, it's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: My landlord was mowing the yard and accidentally hurled a rubber mallet through my window. What should I do?

I had just left the bedroom and glass went all over me and my kids beds. The hammer could have potentially hurt or killed someone and the glass could also have done damage to someone. Who can I tell about this, or what can I do to maybe get this resolved or compensated? All the landlord told me was... Read more »

Bennett James Wills answered on Jun 6, 2018

If no one was injured the only recourse is to have the landlord replace the window, which you said they'll do. Unless someone is damaged or hurt, there's no legal recourse.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: I live in Tennessee. My HOA is making rules that I feel are unreasonable. What can I as a homeowner/ they do as an HOA?

Bennett James Wills answered on Jun 6, 2018

Attend meetings and voice your opinion. Vote. Join the HOA. There are several things you could try to do. Without more info, one can't tell if you have any legal recourse. Unreasonable and illegal are different. Consult local counsel.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: If a piece of property was given to the prior owners of a lot does the property line shift to the original distance?

The previous owners of my property gave 1 foot of the property to the previous owner of our neighbors property. The new owners of that property are now claiming the property line shifted an extra 2 feet off the "new driveway slab" they however put the backyard fence on the original property line.... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on May 25, 2018

You have not stated how the gift of 1 foot was made nor how long ago. These questions must be answered and will determine wheter you have Acquiesed to the new asserted boundary line your neighbors are claiming. More than likely both sides have Acquiesed to the Fence as is.

A suit to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: How do I get an easement lifted the city of Morristown is the owner of it. Would I need an lawyer?

I bought a house in 2015. It was supposed to have a nice front and back yard. There is around 40 to 50 feet in front of the house which is big enough. Just completed a survey to find out that 40 feet of the front yard is an easement for the city. Which leaves about 2 feet of land in front of the... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Mar 30, 2018

You cannot get the Easement of a City "lifted". You could try to convince the City Commission and Mayor to give you a Quit-Claim Deed, but it would be futile. The land is yours subject to the Easement, so you can put up a fence, etc. But when the City wants to work on a sewer or power line,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Tennessee on

Q: bought a piece of property said it was 16 acres. After closing we got the survey. It was just less than 14 acres?

I feel like they stole from us. It was never mentioned at closing, that it was less. And the only reason we found out , was we asked for the survey. This happened in October 2017 , and now it's March 2018. I want the acres that they took . We need those acres to help with the taxes. and because... Read more »

Bennett James Wills answered on Mar 23, 2018

Consult with a local attorney. Your purchase and sale agreement will control the rights and obligations of the parties. You may need to file a lawsuit to correct a deed or pursue some other type of relief.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Small Claims for Tennessee on

Q: We live on a private road,never having a problem with driving in or out, then came our neighbors.

It has been about 8 months and we’ve been stuck on our property unless we walk .75 miles to the black top and get a ride. They made it where not even an ambulance or police could get back here if we needed help. My husband is disabled what can we do legally?

Anthony M. Avery answered on Mar 12, 2018

You should first conduct extensive title searches of both yours and the neighbors' properties. Hopefully there may be at least a mention of a Right of Way or Easement. There may be something that you can do to the neighbors within your rights. But without an Easement, express or implied,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on

Q: There are no leases where I am currently renting. The tenant next door has made his apartment into a barber shop. I have

Told both of my landlords and neither have responded to my texts. It is causing a lot of traffic in and out and taking my parking space. Is there anything I can do to stop this?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 16, 2017

If there is no lease, then there are no restrictions on the use of the premises. It also means you are not locked in to a definite term, so you can leave whenever you want, ( provided you give the appropriate prior notice to the landlord.)

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: 15 years later can a neighbor ask for 1.3 feet of property back that my fence has been on. Can we use adverse poss?

Fence was on property 15 yrs ago when purchased. Now neighbor claims he never knew we had 1 foot of his property and wants our fence removed that we did not even put up. Previous owners put the fence up with the neighbors acknowledgement

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 21, 2017

Sorry, but your question is too complicated to answer in this limited format without extensive addition information. Adverse possession requires 20 years, but in some situations, one can acquire a "defensive" title after only seven years. The actions of the previous owners are very important, and... Read more »

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