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COVID-19 Information for Tennessee

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate

State Legal and Regulatory Information

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Shelter in Place 

Effective Wednesday, April 29 2020, Governor Lee issued Executive Order #30, which repeals Tennessee’s shelter-in-place mandate and establishes guidelines for returning to work in Tennessee. 

Governor Lee issued Executive Order #38 which encourages Tennesseans to return to work while complying with the Economic Recovery Group’s Guidelines.

State of Emergency

Governor Bill Lee declared a state of emergency on March 12, 2020.

Evictions

Court Order

  • Action: Suspension of all in-person hearings until May 31, 2020, with limited exceptions. Eviction cases are not an exception under this order. The Clerk’s office is still open, so cases can still be filed but hearings are postponed.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

No statewide emergency rental assistance for Tennessee.

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by Tennessee Code Title 66 - Property Chapter 35 - Rent Control §66-35-102

Price-Gouging Law

Under Tennessee Code § 47.18.5103, it is unlawful to charge any person for a consumer good or service, including housing, until a declaration of emergency has concluded, a price that is in gross excess of its price prior to declaration. An increase in price will be shown to be not in excess if a seller can attribute such an increase to additional costs imposed by the supplier of that good or service.

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Shelby

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

On April 15, 2020, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that was brought forth by Mayor Lee Harris. The resolution designated $2.5 million for COVID-19 relief efforts, out of that amount $500,000 will go towards helping Shelby county residents.

Families can receive anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500 for rent and mortgage assistance, up to $600 in utility assistance and $200 in food and essentials. The application will be available on April 27, 2020, on the Shelby County website, under the Division of Community Services page.

On April 15, 2020, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that was brought forth by Mayor Lee Harris. The resolution designated $2.5 million for COVID-19 relief efforts, out of that amount $500,000 will go towards helping Shelby county residents.

Families can receive anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500 for rent and mortgage assistance, up to $600 in utility assistance and $200 in food and essentials. The application will be available on April 27, 2020, on the Shelby County website, under the Division of Community Services page.