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Can a Criminal Charge Get You Evicted ?

A criminal charge may be grounds for eviction under Tennessee law.I recently just learned of T.C.A. 66-28-517. Here is a copy of the staute;

66-28-517. Termination by landlord for violence or threats to health, safety, or welfare of persons or property.

(a) A landlord may terminate a rental agreement within three (3) days from the date written notice is received by the tenant if the tenant or any other person on the premises with the tenant's consent:

(1) Willfully or intentionally commits a violent act;

(2) Behaves in a manner which constitutes or threatens to be a real and present danger to the health, safety or welfare of the life or property of other tenants or persons on the premises; or

(3) Creates a hazardous or unsanitary condition on the property that affects the health, safety or welfare or the life or property of other tenants or persons on the premises.

(b) The notice required by this section shall specifically detail the violation which has been committed and shall be effective only from the date of receipt of the notice by the tenant.

(c) Upon receipt of such written notice, the tenant shall be entitled to immediate access to any court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of obtaining a temporary or permanent injunction against such termination by the landlord.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow a landlord to recover or take possession of the dwelling unit by action or otherwise including willful diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or causing interruption of electric, gas or other essential service to the tenant except in the case of abandonment or surrender.

(e) If the landlord's action in terminating the lease under this provision is willful and not in good faith, the tenant may in addition recover actual damages sustained by the tenant plus reasonable attorney's fees.

(f) The failure to bring an action for or to obtain an injunction may not be used as evidence in any action to recover possession of the dwelling unit

The big take away is you one can be evicted if one committs a willful or intentional act. The statute does not define what is a violent act. Violent crimes can cover a wide arrary of criminal conduct. it could range from a domestic assault all the way to a murder charge. It appears this law is overly broad and could be used arbitrarly. It does not even have to a a criminal act. The law does not require one to be charge with a crimina of violence or even convicted of a crime of violence. I agree that a landlord should be able to evict someone if it is related to the an event that happened in the rental complex. a domestic violence charge or an assault that happened elsewhere should not trigger an eviction.

This is just another example of laws designed to help special interest groups without really giving much thought to the wording of the law.

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