A Tennessee lease agreement is a legally binding document a landlord uses to define the rental terms for a residential dwelling. This agreement includes similar standards and provisions like the names and identifying details of the landlord and tenant, the property’s address, the lease term, pet allowances, risk disclosures, and security deposit details.
Required Lease Disclosures
Like landlords in other states, Tennessee landlords must inform tenants of the potential risks of living in a property built before 1978 due to the potential presence of lead-based paint (42 U.S. Code § 4852d).
Some other state-specific lease disclosures that Tennessee requires include the following:
- A landlord must disclose in writing to the tenant the contact details (name and address) of the property owner or agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner (TN Code § 66-28-302).
- A landlord must disclose their right to show a prospective tenant a property within 30 days of the end of the current lease term, and they must list the right of access within the lease agreement (TN Code § 66-28-403).
A landlord can charge any amount they’d like for a security deposit, as Tennessee doesn’t have a statute establishing a maximum amount. There’s also no statute requiring a landlord to pay interest to a tenant for their security deposit.
If a landlord collects a security deposit, they must keep it in a separate account. Tennessee law also dictates that a landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of the end of the tenancy if there’s no unpaid rent or damages to account for (TN Code § 66-28-301).
While there are no laws relating to general access, Tennessee law states that the landlord may enter the property without the tenant’s consent in cases of emergency (TN Code § 66-28-403).
A landlord can assume that the tenant has abandoned the property if there’s an unexplained or extended absence from the property for 30 or more days without rent payment. They can also make this assumption if the tenant fails to pay rent 15 days past the due date and reasonable circumstances indicate that the tenant has abandoned the property (TN Code § 66-28-405).
Small Claims Court
The small claims court limit in Tennessee is $25,000, so a tenant can sue a landlord for an unreturned security deposit up to this amount (TN Code § 16-15-501).
Below, you can view our Tennessee residential lease agreement template to get an idea of what to include in yours. Download it as a PDF or Word file to get started: