Most in Raleigh may view the agreement made between a landlord and a tenant to be a simple one: The landlord provides the tenant with suitable living conditions, and then tenant pays to utilize them. A failure by either side to fulfill its obligations could leave the other with just cause to seek compensation. When issues regarding the state of a rental property arise, typically it is the responsibility of the landlord to address those. On the flip side, he or she is usually only afforded recourse when tenants fail to make their rent payments.
This fact is what makes the case currently playing out between a landlord and his tenant in Tennessee all the more unique. While a landlord is tasked with ensuring that his or her tenants have access to functioning utilities, the landlord in this case is taking the strange step of suing the tenant to make repairs. The landlord is actually facing criminal charges related to the fact that the tenant had no power in her unit. She had the landlord arrested on felony vandalism charges after he cut the power cord running from a generator to her home. The generator was necessary, however, due to the unit's electrical box having been removed months earlier due to an overdue citation against the landlord by the state's fire marshal. The landlord, however, is suing the tenant for $10,000 in back rent and fines related to her having animals in the home, along with the demand that she pay for the needed electrical repairs.
Disputes between landlords and tenants can often become heated due to the fact that they involve properties people call home. Having an attorney in one's corner during such a dispute may help cut through the emotions and properly address the underlying issues.
Source: WATE 6 On Your Side "Court date set in Grainger County landlord-tenant dispute" Dare, Don, Jan. 31, 2018