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DZ Law Shares how URLTA Could Affect your Lease Agreement
February 15, 2021 at 5:00 AM
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What is URLTA?

Tennessee has adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) which applies to the largest counties in Tennessee, including Knox County.

The Act addresses the rights and duties of landlords in matters such as repairs, access, security deposits, and notices of default. Leases must be in compliance with the requirements set forth in the Act. The Act also indicates how these provisions will be enforced and how remedies will be determined in the event of a violation by either party.

In this article, the legal team of DZ Law is sharing more about how URLTA could affect you, and how tenants and landlords can protect their rights:

How could URLTA affect you?

If you’re a tenant…

Know your obligations. URLTA requires that tenants...

  • Act and require guests to act in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises
  • Keep the property as clean and safe as it was when the tenant took possession
  • Dispose of garbage and other waste to the designated collection areas and into receptacles
  • Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or permit their guests to do so
  • Not engage in any illegal conduct on the premises
  • Not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter onto the premises for maintenance reasons

Know your rights. URLTA prohibits landlords from...

  • Charging late fees in excess of 10% of the payment due
  • Adopting a rule or regulation without giving notice to the tenant
  • Evicting tenants for non-payment of rent without written notice unless the lease says otherwise

Being aware of lease conditions and terms can help you ensure that you do not inadvertently waive your rights when you sign a lease agreement. Careful scrutiny of lease terms can help ensure that there are no surprises down the road.


If you are having difficulty paying your rent you may qualify for eviction prevention. The legal team at DZ Law recommends going to COVID 19 Eviction Forms to see if you qualify.

If you’re a landlord…

Know your obligations. URLTA requires that landlords…

  • Comply with requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety
  • Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition
  • Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition
  • Provide necessary notice to vacate in the event tenant breaches the lease agreement
  • In multi-unit complexes of four (4) or more units, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste

Ensure that you are familiar with the provisions so that you do not find yourself in violation of URLTA. The best way to ensure compliance with URLTA is to hire a licensed attorney to draft your lease agreements and to consult with before taking any action to terminate a lease agreement.

Contact DZ Law and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

Contact the experienced team of legal experts at DZ Law. As some of Knoxville, Tennessee's premier landlord and tenant attorneys, we have the experience needed to navigate your case's complexities and find the ideal strategy to get you the result you're after. We also take a proactive approach to our client management experience, and we'll remain in constant communication, so you know exactly where your case stands. Visit us online to learn more or to schedule an initial consultation.

Client Story

A recent client in Knoxville found themselves being evicted by their apartment complex, which cited the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) as grounds for eviction.

URLTA allows for eviction with only three days notice in the event that the behavior of the tenant threatens the health and safety of other persons on the premises or property. However, in this case, the behavior that prompted this drastic response was not something as egregious as is required by the Act. Not only was the client evicted with little notice, but they also found themselves saddled with a bill exceeding $7,000 for termination of the lease.

The client reached out to DZ Law with this issue. We were able to help resolve the dispute without the client needing to pay the landlord a single penny.