THE best way to find a lawyer is by word of mouth. Ask your: family, friends, coworkers, anyone you might know in the same situation, etc.
Call your local (usually county) bar association. Ask for names of attorneys that handle your type of matter. (If money is a BIG problem, you could also ask for the phone number of your local LegalAid office. - the attorneys at LegalAid are "real" attorneys, but sometimes in the field of Law, how much you are willing to pay does affect the quality you get.)
When you call the law office(s), insist on speaking with the Lawyer. Just tell the Secretary the main idea of your matter - do not tell all the little details of your matter to the Secretary - save the details for the Attorney. When you get the Lawyer on the phone line, ask him/her:
- Do they give >>>FREE, initial consultations for the FIRST meeting? (most do, but not all - you have to ask, don't assume)
- How much do they charge?
- Could you make payments on your account?
- Can they help you? OR Refer you to someone who can help you?
(This is based on my knowledge, information, belief, and life experiences. This was intended as personal opinion, and not intended to be used as legal advice. Seeking advice over the Internet is not a good idea - the field of Law is too complex for that. Please be careful and do your research.)
Your legal rights will be spelled out in your residential/tenancy agreement contract. The terms in this contract must be consistent and comply with TN state laws governing landlord and tenants' rights. Landlords have an obligation to make sure the rental unit is safe and habitable regarding health etc. The landlord is obligated to rid the habitat of vermin and such to make sure it remains habitable. This means taking ALL steps necessary to eliminate the problem. The question is whether or not he is taking all necessary steps to do so or if he is doing things the cheapest way possible.
Also at issue is not whether or not the landlord has taken reasonable steps to deal with the problem. At issue is whether or not the place is habitable. Since it is an ongoing problem and within his control he is not fulfilling his contractual obligations in my opinion. In my opinion the problem poses a health hazard and not just an annoyance or inconvenience to you. Explain this to your landlord, give in writing the required notice and move. It is only my opinion but the cockroaches and mice were not part of the deal and had he told you that it will be or "may" be a problem I'm sure you would have looked elsewhere for accommodations.
Bottom line? Read the residential/landlord tenancy act [or similar] for the state of TN. Then you will know with certainty your legal rights.