If you hold a leadership position in a homeowners association (HOA) in Tennessee, it's important that you have a good understanding of the Tennessee HOA laws and regulations that govern these associations. In this article, we'll provide an overview of the laws that govern homeowners associations to help you remain compliant.

What Are Homeowners Associations?

Homeowner associations, also known as unit owners associations, are non-government entities created for the betterment of a particular community or neighborhood. They have the right to collect monthly assessments or dues for the maintenance and repairs of communal areas, such as parks or swimming pools.

HOAs are governed by state laws, but they also enforce their own laws to ensure that certain standards are maintained in the community.

An Overview of Tennessee HOA Laws

Let's take a closer look at the state laws that govern homeowners associations in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Homeowners Association Act

The administration and operation of HOAs in Tennessee would be governed under bill SB405, which Tennessee legislators are now reviewing. Tennessee homeowners' associations are not yet bound by any of these laws because the legislation is still being reviewed.

The Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act, however, will apply to organizations that are set up as non-profits, as is the case with the majority of HOAs in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Condominium Act

This act is applicable to all condos built in Tennessee after the first of January 2009, and it partially encompasses all condominiums built prior to that date.

The Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act

All non-profit organizations must adhere to this statute's rules for company structure and operation. In Tennessee, the majority of associations are set up as non-profit corporations. To verify an HOA's status, you can go to the Secretary of State's website.

The Tennessee Horizontal Property Act

Condominium associations founded before the first of January 2009 are governed by this legislation.

The Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act

All non-profit corporations in Tennessee must adhere to this statute's rules for company structure and operation. In Tennessee, the majority of HOAs are set up as non-profit organizations. To determine the status of an HOA as a corporation, you can visit the Secretary of State's website.

The Freedom of Speech Act

The Freedom of Speech Act forbids homeowners' organizations from limiting how political signs or posters can be displayed on privately owned property. However, owners' associations may establish reasonable guidelines for the positioning and dimensions of such signs.

Federal Laws That Govern HOAs

In addition to these state laws, there are also a number of federal laws that homeowners associations need to take note of. The federal Fair Housing Act, for example, offers national protection against housing discrimination based on factors such as national origin, race, color, disability, and religion.

There are also regulations enforced by the federal government that specify how homeowners may display the US national flag. If a homeowner puts up a flag as described by this law, an HOA may not fine him or her.

Furthermore, homeowners in Tennessee have state-level protections from dishonest, abusive, or unfair debt collection practices under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act. Residents can submit a complaint with the FTC or the CFPB about a debt collector if they've been the victim of intimidation or deceptive debt collection practices.


HOAs in Tennessee have the authority to punish property owners. There are no provisions defining particular member fine kinds or amounts. The HOA's governing documents detail these procedures and notice requirements.

The following are things that an HOA in Tennessee is not allowed to penalize homeowner for:

  • Leasing their property
  • Mounting antennas and satellite dishes
  • Showcasing the US national flag, provided it adheres to government flag display regulations

That said, HOAs may include guidelines in their governing documents on where and how the abovementioned items may be displayed within reason.

Can HOAs in Tennessee Foreclose on a Home for Unpaid Dues?

No clause in the Tennessee Code specifies whether an HOA may seize a member's home. The governing documents will specify if the organization is permitted to seize a member's home and the procedures to be followed in order to do so.

However, Tennessee does have unique laws that apply to condominiums that may be subject to HOA regulation. In the state of Tennessee, condominium associations may seize a homeowner's property for unpaid fees or debts after giving the owner due notice.

Joining and Leaving an HOA in Tennessee

There are no laws that determine whether HOA membership should be mandatory or not in Tennessee. This means that homeowners must look to the governing documents to determine whether it is obligatory for them to join such an association.

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With accounting tools designed to make bookkeeping easier, intuitive features to help track and manage work orders, and a communication portal to send notices and liaise with vendors, DoorLoop has everything to ensure that your HOA complies with the relevant Tennessee HOA laws.

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Closing Comments

Managing a homeowners association is no easy task, which is why it's important to have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and regulations that govern these organizations. Moreover, having the right tools at your disposal can be the difference between compliance and harsh penalties.

DoorLoop features powerful features to help you manage your day-to-day operations, and with world-class support and incredible ease of use, you can set yourself up for success by signing up for one of our plans.

Sign up for a free demo and see how DoorLoop can transform the way you manage your Tennessee homeowners association!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a community member take their grievances to a federal district court?

Yes. Homeowners can file private lawsuits against HOAs in Tennessee and have the matter settled in a state or federal court. This is why it is important to know how to deal with disputes and ensure that your HOA complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

2. How do you dissolve a Tennessee homeowners association?

The organization's governing documents will explain how to dissolve the association. However, if there are no provisions in the governing documents, the HOA's board of directors must first advise HOA members of the motion to dissolve the association at a meeting. The majority of the members must vote to approve the dissolution, and a minimum of two-thirds of them must vote in favor of the dissolution.

A dissolution plan will be created and executed if the dissolution is approved. The homeowner's association must then submit the Articles of Dissolution to the Tennessee Secretary of State.

3. Can an HOA in Tennessee levy fines and penalties for non-compliance?

Yes. Tennessee homeowners associations have the power to impose fines on members if they fail to follow the bylaws set out in the HOA's governing documents.

4. Are homeowners associations in Tennessee allowed to enter a member's private property?

There are no state laws that specify whether an HOA is allowed to enter a member's home. However, HOAs may need to access private property to conduct maintenance. If that's the case, adequate notice must be provided.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!