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Landlord / Tenant Article

Whether the property is commercial or residential, disputes can unfortunately arise between landlords and tenants.  These disputes might involve unpaid rent claims, habitability claims, or eviction.  Additionally, when tenants file for bankruptcy landlords must understand the bankruptcy process and rules so that they can collect on monies still owed to them.

Duties and Rights of Landlords of Residential Property

Depending on the county in which the tenant resides, Tennessee landlord/tenant law varies.  In more populated counties, the Tennessee Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (also referred to as the Uniform Landlord Tenant Law) is the applicable law.  Generally, landlords have the duty to ensure that the premises they provide to tenants meet minimum standards of habitability, such as complying with building codes.  Landlords also must maintain common areas, such as stairways in multi-unit residential buildings, because landlords, in most circumstances, are liable for the injuries that tenants and guests suffer while in these common areas. 

Creditors and Bankruptcy

When tenants file for bankruptcy, landlords become creditors.  As creditors, landlords still possess certain rights.  Depending on the priority of the creditor’s claims, or in other words the order in which creditors are paid with assets from the bankruptcy estate, a creditor typically gets a share of the distribution from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate.  The creditor can also challenge the debtor’s right to discharge certain debts, since through the bankruptcy process certain debts can be eliminated. 

If you are a creditor and you are trying to collect from a debtor, or need to protect your claim against a debtor, consult with an attorney who understands the complexities of representing creditors in debtor-bankruptcy actions.  Attorneys for the Baer Firm have the experience and knowledge to help you in landlord/tenant issues involving collections, evictions, and representation of creditors in bankruptcy cases. 

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