Tennessee Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers

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

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Family Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Feb 15, 2019
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
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 Common or Remainderman, then you will have to sue everybody involved in Chancery. The Action will probably be an Ejectment Suit which is very difficult. All interested Parties must either be...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 21, 2019
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
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 clause says in his Deed. The Servient Esatate usually does not have a duty to restore a destroyed right of way, but it is better to get an agreement about how to restore the path of ingress/egress.

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 ?

1 Answer | Asked in Environmental, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 1, 2019
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
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 Landowners by lessening erosion. Unless it is a navigable water, you should have no problem. But TCA 69-1-110 allows suit for damages for diverting a stream, without navigability being required. Common...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Dec 28, 2018
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 22, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
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 just a unforeseen event which makes it impossible to complete the lease/fulfill the contract. In summary, it seems to me to be just bad luck for both the landlord and tenant.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jun 6, 2018
Bennett James Wills' answer
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.

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?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jun 6, 2018
Bennett James Wills' answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on May 25, 2018
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
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 Determine a Boundary Line and Trespass may be your only alternatives.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Mar 30, 2018
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
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, they can and will run over your fences. This is why you perform a title search prior to any real property purchases. It is possible a building permit will be required prior to any construction...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Mar 23, 2018
Bennett James Wills' answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
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, in the chain of titles, you are left with difficult litigation in Chancery Court to prove an Easement exists by Prescription or By Implication.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 16, 2017
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
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.)

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?

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jul 21, 2017
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
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 those could determine the outcome of the whole dispute. It seems unlikely that this one foot warrants the time and expense of a lawsuit, and its even less likely that a Judge would require the fence to...

Q: Is wholesaling real estate legal in the state of Tennessee?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning, Legal Malpractice and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 3, 2017
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Sorry, but you haven't provided enough information to understand your situation. Please explain what you mean by "wholesaling." Generally, a seller can sell to whoever they want. Buyer and seller are free to agree on all kinds of terms.

Q: I won 16 acres and my neighbor that is land locked has use of a road in our lower field to access his home. He wants to

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Nov 21, 2016
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
If you own the property, all he has is an "easement by necessity". In other words, he has the right to use the road for access, but he can't 'increase the burden" on your property. He can maintain what is already there, but he can't widen, or improve it. It sounds like the issue is going to come down to what is reasonable maintainence. He will probably say that by doing the major work now, that will eliminate future work and thus be cheaper in the long run. Its hard to predict what a Judge...

Q: can someone charge me rent if they arent the owners of my house yet. they still owe me 80k and want to charge me rent?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Answered on Jul 19, 2016
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
No lawyer can give you an accurate answer to this question without reviewing the contract and documents which you signed at the closing of this transaction. If your father has a "life estate," ( the right to live there for the remainder of his life) then he is, in effect the owner of the premises for the remainder of his life, and he can rent to whoever he wants. However, again, there is always more than one way to structure a transaction, and no one can advise you without seeing those...

Q: If I own wooded land, am I able to place a trailer home on the property?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Answered on Sep 3, 2015
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
You should, before you agree to buy the property, ask the code inspector from the local jurisdiction (county, city, or the like) you are in. Get the answer in writing.

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