Can Building Codes require my Landlord to make Repairs ?

Many issues that contribute to an unhealthy home do not have laws that require landlords to take actions to improve the condition of a home.  Some communities may have Building Codes that address structural problems which require repairs that will improve the overall condition of the home and address unhealthy problems.

Property Maintenance Codes or Building and Safety Codes are minimum property maintenance standards.  Codes can apply to residential or non-residential properties or both.  Codes inspections can occur at any time, though they are most common with new construction or renovation.  Building Codes help to ensure safety within a building.  It is important to have buildings up to code.  Landlords are responsible for meeting Codes.

All metropolitan areas in Tennessee have their own Codes Departments to enforce Property Maintenance Codes.  Many large county or city governments also have Codes Departments. 

Many small towns and rural areas do not have standardized minimum Property Maintenance Codes. 

Several Codes Departments across the state have adopted the International Property Maintenance Code.  Codes inspectors may check electrical, plumbing, gas, zoning, and other physical aspects of a home.  many Codes Departments only inspect new construction. 

Contact your local Building Codes Department for information specific to your location.


If you live inside city limits in Tennessee, you can check to see what city codes of ordinance, if any exist for buildings. 

If you are outside city limits, you check for county codes information

If you have water leaks that pose a threat to electrical lines or other concerns about electrical hazards, contact the State Fire Marshal at 615-741-7170 for guidance.