2010 Tennessee Code
Title 66 - Property
Chapter 28 - Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Part 4 - Tenant Obligations
66-28-405 - Abandonment.

66-28-405. Abandonment.

(a)  The tenant's unexplained or extended absence from the premises for thirty (30) days or more without payment of rent as due shall be prima facie evidence of abandonment. The landlord is then expressly authorized to reenter and take possession of the premises.

(b)  (1)  The tenant's nonpayment of rent for fifteen (15) days past the rental due date, together with other reasonable factual circumstances indicating the tenant has permanently vacated the premises, including, but not limited to, the removal by the tenant of substantially all of the tenant's possessions and personal effects from the premises, or the tenant's voluntary termination of utility service to the premises, shall also be prima facie evidence of abandonment.

     (2)  In cases described in subdivision (b)(1), the landlord shall post notice at the rental premises and shall also send the notice to the tenant by regular mail, postage prepaid, at the rental premises address. The notice shall state that:

          (A)  The landlord has reason to believe that the tenant has abandoned the premises;

          (B)  The landlord intends to reenter and take possession of the premises, unless the tenant contacts the landlord within ten (10) days of the posting and mailing of the notice;

          (C)  If the tenant does not contact the landlord within the ten-day period, the landlord intends to remove any and all possessions and personal effects remaining in or on the premises and to rerent the dwelling unit; and

          (D)  If the tenant does not reclaim the possessions and personal effects within thirty (30) days of the landlord taking possession of the possessions and personal effects, the landlord intends to dispose of the tenant's possessions and personal effects as provided for in subsection (c).

     (3)  The notice shall also include a telephone number and a mailing address at which the landlord may be contacted.

     (4)  If the tenant fails to contact the landlord within ten (10) days of the posting and mailing of the notice, the landlord may reenter and take possession of the premises. If the tenant contacts the landlord within ten (10) days of the posting and mailing of the notice and indicates the tenant's intention to remain in possession of the rental premises, the landlord shall comply with the provisions of this chapter relative to termination of tenancy and recovery of possession of the premises through judicial process.

(c)  When proceeding under either subsection (a) or (b), the landlord shall remove the tenant's possessions and personal effects from the premises and store the personal possessions and personal effects for not less than thirty (30) days. The tenant may reclaim the possessions and personal effects from the landlord within the thirty-day period. If the tenant does not reclaim the possessions and personal effects within the thirty-day period, the landlord may sell or otherwise dispose of the tenant's possessions and personal effects and apply the proceeds of the sale to the unpaid rents, damages, storage fees, sale costs and attorney's fees. Any balances are to be held by the landlord for a period of six (6) months after the sale.

[Acts 1975, ch. 245, § 3.105; T.C.A., § 64-2835; Acts 2005, ch. 156, § 5.]  

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