Although you may have signed a lease for an apartment or rental unit for
a specified amount of time, circumstances may arise where you want to
get out of your agreement so you can find a better place to live. But
are you allowed to break a lease in the state of Tennessee? Keep reading
to find out:
What Are My Rights & Responsibilities When I Sign a Rental Lease?
Under the terms of your lease, both you and your
landlord are obligated to each other for a certain period of time, generally a
year if you’re renting an apartment. The landlord of your rental
unit can’t raise monthly rent or change other terms in the lease
until it expires. However, some lease agreements allow the tenant and
landlord to make changes like a rent increase mid-lease.
Your landlord also can’t suddenly ask you to move out of your unit
before the end of your lease, as long as you have paid your rent and haven’t
violated other major terms in the lease agreement. There are specific
procedures that Tennessee state law requires your landlord to abide if
they want to evict you from a rental unit. Under Tennessee Code Ann. §
66-28-505, your landlord must give you 14 days’ notice to pay the
rent and 16 days to move out before they can file an eviction lawsuit
Examples of When It’s Justified to Break Your Lease
The following are a few examples of situations in which you could justifiably
break your lease:
Starting Active Military Duty: If you are called to active military service, the
War and National Defense Servicemembers Civil Relief Act gives you the right to break your lease. You still need to give your landlord
notice that you plan to end your lease for military reasons.
Unsafe Unit / Health Code Violations: Your landlord is obligated to provide habitable housing under local and
state housing codes. There are certain procedures and requirements you
have to adhere to if you want to move out because your landlord fails
to make major repairs. You should consult with an experienced attorney
to discuss what to expect from this process.
Harassment / Privacy Rights Violations: Landlords in Tennessee have to give you at least 24 hours’ notice
before entering your rental unit if they are showing it to prospective
renters. Repeated violations of your right to privacy, such as removing
windows or doors, can be justifiable reasons for breaking the lease.
Are you wondering if you have a valid reason for ending your lease agreement
with your landlord? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our
dedicated real estate lawyer to discuss your situation. Call us today at (888) 492-4735 to
schedule your consultation.