Squatters Rights in Tennessee

Squatters rights in Tennessee
  • By My Tennessee Home Solution
  • 30 Dec, 2022

Learn more about the squatters rights in Tennessee

Squatters have rights over their property despite not owning a lease or paying rent of any sort due to certain squatters rights throughout the country, and specific rights within each state.

How can Squatters Legally Possess a Property?

There are instances in which squatters had lived on a property for several years before the owner passed away, but it was before they had legally transferred the property to another person on the property. For example, if a girl was raised in her childhood home and her parents  passed away when the girl was twenty-five, she could apply for adverse possession and use squatters rights claiming to have peacefully lived on the property for twenty-five years. Although these instances are not very common, it happens enough that the court will recognize its effect in the lives of those in that situation.

Other ways that a squatter is able to gain possession to a property is if that individual had lived on the property for twenty years without conflict and then they are able to make an adverse possession claim. This is also not common, but due to the amount of cases it does affect, there are laws to protect those citizens and instances.

squatter is someone who does not own or rent a property (usually residential) but inhabits it despite not having a lawful possession of it.

Property-Holders vs. Squatters  in Tennessee

If you own or rent property in Tennessee, that means that you have a lawful possession of it and are there under an agreement with a servicer or mortgage lender with an understanding that you will only occupy a property until you either move and release the property back to the owner or can no longer afford the rent and the property is foreclosed. This is very different to the living situation of a squatter in Tennessee as we see them possess a property without having any legal hold of it.

This occurs when a resident begins living in an unoccupied space, which is usually residential property, without paying rent or living under an agreement with a mortgage lender. Many times this happens when a lease expires with someone who was once under it and decides not to move, or when a member of the homeless community sets up their space in an unoccupied house.

How To Sell Your House Fast In Nashville Even If You have Squatters:

  • Know The Laws 
  • Inform The Authorities 
  • Begin The Eviction Process 
  • Clean Up And Sell… We buy houses in Nashville in as-is condition.

How do I evict a squatter in Tennessee?

First, there must be an obvious squatter presence on the property. This means that the owner of the property must be able to tell that there is someone living there, and if there is not a clear presence, then whatever squatters are there must evacuate and hold no power in the situation. If there is an obvious presence, then you must give them a formal eviction notice followed by a filed complaint in a court setting. This leads to a court hearing and if the court sides with the owner, the squatter will be evicted, but if the court sides with the squatter, they will be granted access to the property under an agreement between them and the owner.

What rights do squatters have in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, there are no legitimate “squatters rights,” though there is an adverse possession law that claims that you have the right to remain on a piece of land or property in which you have lived without conflict for several years. There must also be a show that the resident desires to better the quality of the property by completing some sort of beautifying process, whether it be landscape work or internal renovations.

Is it illegal to squat in a residential property?

The short answer is yes, but the long definition requires an understanding of the owner of a property and any adverse possession laws present in the state. Because squatting is technically understood as trespassing, no one who squats on a property is able to own it and therefore you cannot use adverse possession laws to possess it, either. On the other hand, if they meet certain requirements, they are able to make a plea for residential rights.

How long do you have to squat in a house to own it?

If a property is owned by a separate group than those who are living on it, but take no legal action to rid their property of the squatters for a period of seven years, then adverse possession can be sought. It depends on the state for the amount of time, however, since the adverse possession laws differ between state lines. In Tennessee, it is only seven years of peaceful residence, wherein some places it can be as long as several decades before adverse possession can be sought. 

To Recap

Squatters are individuals who do not have any legal possession of a land and do not pay rent in order to gain possession of it. These can have lawful exceptions, though, as sometimes what the instance is, is that there is a member of a family who has lived continuously in a property for twenty or more years and the owner died, so they are able to apply for adverse possession. Because of the complications with the situations that are different from this, you have to present a court case for ownership of a property.

This does not help in cases where the squatter is trespassing, because in those situations they are unable to apply for adverse possession and are legally able to be removed from the property at any point. And though there are not “squatters rights” in Tennessee, there is an understanding for the exceptions to certain property cases. When these exceptions are made, they are made through court appearances and completed through the correct legal channels.


In Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to be aware of property laws, adverse possession laws, and squatters rights (though there are none in Tennessee) in your state of residence. This will protect the community from an overflux of trespassers along with individual property owners from having to constantly defend their property. Overall, knowing what is and is not plausible in regards to property rights and squatters is crucial if anything were to happen at a property you own. And, if trying to gain possession of a property as a squatter, it is important to know how to do so lawfully.