White Paper

4 Pages
  • 4 Pages

Evictions and Unlawful Detainer: Self-Help and Termination Notice


Make sure the law is on your side before you enter a rental property.

Some landlords (at least those who have not yet been sued) still believe that it is legal to lock out a commercial tenant who has not unequivocally abandoned the premises. A great many form leases give this right to the landlord with or without force. While at early common law a landlord had the right to recover property by force, Tennessee law clearly and unambiguously holds that "no person shall enter upon any land [unless] entry is given by law, and only then in a peaceable manner." Most states, like Tennessee, hold that the existence of a speedy statutory remedy for the removal of tenants who unlawfully remain in possession bars the landlord's entry by self-help. This white paper reviews self-help and termination notices and discusses waiver and unlawful detainer issues.



Gary S. Rubenstein

Gary S. Rubenstein

Schulman, LeRoy & Bennett, P.C.

  • Principal with the law firm of Schulman, LeRoy & Bennett, P.C.
  • Practice consists of insurance defense, surety bond issues, and landlord-tenant matters
  • Board member of the Tennessee Apartment Association
  • Frequent lecturer on landlord and tenant issues
  • Teaches business law at the Gupton School of Mortuary Science
  • J.D. degree, Vanderbilt University; B.A. degree, Purdue University
  • Can be contacted at 615-244-6670 or [email protected]

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