By Jedidiah McKeehan

If you are a landlord and you go to court and get a tenant evicted, you do not actually get to take possession of the property right away.

Landlord-tenant cases are heard in general sessions court in Tennessee, and there is a 10 day period in which the landlord or the tenant can appeal the judgment of the court.  In line with that, Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 29-18-126 states that a landlord cannot act on their granted eviction until 10 days after the eviction is granted.

Once the 10 days pass and no appeal is made by the tenant, but the tenant remains in the property, a landlord can apply to the court for a writ of possession pursuant to TCA 29-15-114.

A writ of possession can be filed and scheduled for execution.  There is no hearing before a judge. Once the writ of possession is filed, the document is sent to the local Sheriff’s Office to schedule a time when they will come to the property with the landlord and facilitate a civil transfer of the property back to the landlord.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide the people and resources needed to remove all the tenant’s items from the property and change the locks.

TCA 29-18-127 states that when removing the tenant’s items they must put them:

  1. On the premises from which the tenant is being removed;
  2. In an area clear of the entrance to the premises; and
  3. A reasonable distance from the roadway.

The property must be left there for 48 hours.  If the property is still there after 48 hours, the landlord may then do anything they want with the property, including throw it away.

Still, there is a lot of time and effort a landlord has to put in to reclaim their property even after they have been granted an eviction.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.