Results 1 to 10 of 15

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Default Use of Rental Space

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Tennessee

    We are renting a two bedroom apartment. We are a family of four consisting of two adults and two very young children both under 3. Our current set up is that we co-sleep with both of the children. Therefore the second room we do not need as a bedroom. Instead, we use that room for storage. The room does have a queen sized bed in it and a TV. But more than anything it has all the baby gear (ex. strollers) and toys.

    We had an inspection (we have monthly inspections) and we got a lease violation notice for having an "extremely cluttered" guest bedroom.

    So my main question is this... If we are otherwise good tenants who pay our rent on time and keep the rest of the house uncluttered, then what exactly is the problem and is this something they can enforce? The manager is claiming it is a safety issue and has picked on us for this in the past to the point where we did go get a storage unit for a lot of the extra things, but that unit is full. She, the manager, is stating that it is a safety issue because you cannot easily access the window in case of a fire. As if we would be jumping out of the two story window in event of a fire AND as I mentioned that room is not used for anything BUT storage. We never go in there other than to put things in it and take them out.

    Now, before you start imagining a hording situation, this is NOT garbage or filth. It is things such as a Radio Flyer wagon, a walker, stroller, a trunk full of toys, and there are some boxes with baby clothes. Oh, and at the time there are bag of Christmas presents we need to wrap.

    So in our lovely state of Tennessee what is the law regarding our rights of use of space in this rental unit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,960

    Default Re: Use of Rental Space

    Quote Quoting JDIAC
    View Post
    We had an inspection (we have monthly inspections) and we got a lease violation notice for having an "extremely cluttered" guest bedroom.
    Just to confirm...your lease allows your landlord to "inspect" your apartment on a monthly basis and prohibits clutter??! Why would you agree to things like that? Can you quote the provisions that cover these things? Are you month-to-month or is your lease for a specified term (e.g., July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020)?


    Quote Quoting JDIAC
    View Post
    If we are otherwise good tenants who pay our rent on time and keep the rest of the house uncluttered, then what exactly is the problem and is this something they can enforce?
    Depends on exactly what your lease says, but why would you think a lease provision that you agreed to couldn't be enforced?


    Quote Quoting JDIAC
    View Post
    As if we would be jumping out of the two story window in event of a fire
    Would you rather stay in the apartment and burn to death instead of jumping onto a fireman's net? Heck, even jumping and breaking a leg would be preferable to human-b-que.


    Quote Quoting JDIAC
    View Post
    So in our lovely state of Tennessee what is the law regarding our rights of use of space in this rental unit?
    The law is that it depends on what your lease says.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Use of Rental Space

    Thanks for the response. What I mean about the second room and jumping out of the window during fire is that we are never in that room other than to put things in it and get them out. We are always either in the living room (huge door windows with a balcony) or our bedroom (more windows). So it is highly unlikely we would use the second bedroom to jump out of the window.

    The inspections are masked as "pest control" and someone comes in and sprays the apartment for bugs but I honestly believe they use this as an opportunity to micro-manage.

    This is what my lease violation states:

    "It has been noticed during inspection the guest room is extremely cluttered. This is a serious safety issue. Per your community rules, Section 21, paragraph 3, it specifically states: When unsanitary or unsafe conditions affecting the health and safety of the resident and their neighbors are discovered, an infraction notice will be issued to the resident and a re-inspection date will be established. If the unsanitary or unsafe condition is not corrected, appropriate action will be taken, up to and including termination of the lease. "

    This, in my opinion, is relative. It is not a safety issue for us because as I said, we do not use that room. I think she just doesn't like the look of the clutter. Once, she complained about the dining area clutter when we had things in that area...and that certainly was not a safety issue as there are no windows in the dining area.

    I mean this apartment is lived in by children...there is going to be clutter somewhere. I prefer it to be in the second room where no one goes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,960

    Default Re: Use of Rental Space

    I would argue that clutter in your apartment does not "affect[] the health and safety of [you] and [your] neighbors." At most, it affects your safety.

    Here's the thing...you can either unclutter the room or metaphorically flip your landlord the finger and see what happens. If there is a high demand for 2-bedroom apartments where you live, then the landlord might actually try to evict you. If I were you, I'd find a less obnoxious landlord at the first available opportunity.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,485

    Default Re: Use of Rental Space

    Quote Quoting JDIAC
    View Post


    I mean this apartment is lived in by children...there is going to be clutter somewhere. I prefer it to be in the second room where no one goes.
    Clutter is in the eye of the beholder. Your landlord says it's bad, you say it isn't. Unfortunately, your landlord has the leverage. He can evict you for creating a hazard and then what do you do with an eviction on your record.

    I can't say whether you're right or wrong without seeing the room. If you can figure out how to post a photo of the room, you'll get some opinions one way or the other. If you can't figure out how to post one here, there are a couple of other legal websites (thelaw dot com is one) where you can upload a photo into your post.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Use of Rental Space

    why not just make sure that access to the window is kept clear and that should negate the argument that the clutter is unsafe as it blocks access to the egress window?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,485

    Default Re: Use of Rental Space

    Quote Quoting yyz0
    View Post
    why not just make sure that access to the window is kept clear and that should negate the argument that the clutter is unsafe as it blocks access to the egress window?
    A Radio Flyer wagon, a walker, stroller, a trunk full of toys, some boxes with baby clothes, a bag of Christmas presents, and a queen size bed in an apartment bedroom that's probably 10 x 10.

    Unless all that stuff is piled on the bed, there is no path to the window.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Parking and Access: Termination of the Rental of a Parking Space
    By Nanao00o in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-17-2017, 11:26 PM
  2. Parking and Access: Can a Landlord Limit Garage Space Rental to Use for Parking
    By lawfacts in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-26-2016, 08:50 AM
  3. Building Permits: What Turns Uninhabitable, Non-Living Space into Habitable Living Space
    By zippet in forum Construction, Repair and Renovation
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-09-2012, 03:08 PM
  4. Rental Agreements: Modifying a Rental Agreement to Eliminate Tenant's Parking Space
    By hollywood1 in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-12-2011, 09:21 AM
  5. Rental Of Unpermitted Space
    By lilfrenchbee in forum Tax Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-24-2008, 01:27 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources