Unfortunately, if she will not leave voluntarily, you do need to go through the legal process to avoid being accused of an illegal eviction. When there is no lease, the occupant is considered an “at will” tenant and treated legally as a month to month tenant. As such, you can terminate this tenancy by giving written notice of at least 30 days. If she does not leave voluntarily, under Tennessee law, you will then need to give a 10-Day Notice to Quit...meaning she must vacate the premises within that period or face formal eviction. Then, if she still has not left, you will have to file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is granted...you can have the sheriff evict. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to move her stuff out, change the locks, or take any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order.
This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you could just force her out immediately, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!
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