Renter's Rights in Rural Counties
As a renter in a rural county such as Robertson County (larger counties like Montgomery, Sumner, and Davidson have different regulations), it is important to know your rights:
First, you have the right to “quiet enjoyment,” or to live peacefully where you rent. Regardless of what a lease says, the landlord cannot lock you out or shut off the electricity to make you move. And, in most cases, a landlord cannot enter your residence absent an emergency.
A renter is entitled to a safe living environment. Get any promises of repairs in writing and make sure the residence is safe before you move in. In certain circumstances, the Department of Building and Codes will come inspect for you. Be sure to give the landlord notice in writing of any repairs needed.
Renters are entitled to “notice” if the landlord is forcing them to move out. In most cases, landlords must take renters to court for an eviction. The timeframe for notice varies depending on the situation but a landlord does not need a “good reason” to make someone move out.
It’s always important for renters to read the lease, which should be in writing, but keep in mind that some provisions in the lease may not comply with the law.
Lastly, and perhaps the most critical fact to know, is that a contract to pay rent is an independent agreement, meaning that rent must be paid regardless of whether the landlord is holding up their end of the bargain.