Tennessee lease and rental agreements are legally binding documents that landlords and tenants use to define the lease terms for a residential dwelling.
Rental agreements typically contain similar standard provisions and information including the following:
- The names and identifying details of the property owner and tenant (you should have this information from the residential rental application form).
- Address of the premises
- Pet prohibitions and/or allowances
- Safety and health hazard disclosures
- Lease term (e.g., 12 months)
- Rent amount and the date payment is due (and any late fees)
- Grace period for paying rent
- Security deposit details
Every state will have state-specific rental and leasing requirements, sometimes differing on important issues like disclosures, any late fee, notice periods, and security deposits.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with Tennessee’s residential lease agreement and its specific requirements and nuances to best protect your legal and financial rights.
Tennessee Landlord-Tenant Laws
Relevant State Laws and Resources
A landlord is not restricted in the amount they may request from a tenant for a security deposit. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-301)
The landlord may enter the property without the tenant’s consent in cases of emergency.
In addition, a landlord may show the property to prospective future tenants during the final 30 days of the current tenancy as long as it is provided for in the lease agreement and notice is given to the current tenant at least 24 hours before entry (Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-403).
A landlord may assume abandonment of the property by the tenant if there is an extended or unexplained absence from the property for 30 days or more days without payment of rent, or when a tenant fails to pay rent for 15 days past the due date, and reasonable circumstances point to the tenant has abandoned the property (Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-405).
Further Contact Details
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 (Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-302).
The following additional documents may help write a Tennessee rental agreement.
Disclosure of Lead-Based Paint Hazards
All Tennessee landlords of any building constructed before 1978 must notify all tenants of the potential existence of lead-based paint hazards (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852(d)).
Notice of Abandoned Personal Property
A landlord may assume abandonment of the property by the tenant if there is an extended or unexplained absence from the property for 30 or more days without payment of rent, or when a tenant fails to pay rent for 15 days past the due date, and reasonable circumstances point to the tenant has abandoned the property.
Landlords should attempt to notify all tenants of the presumed abandonment of personal property before proceeding with the disposal (Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-405).
Security Deposit Notice
There is no timeframe for when a landlord is required to return a security deposit to a tenant, however, a landlord must provide an itemized list of damages to the tenant (Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-301).
How to Write a Lease/Rental Agreement
Follow the steps below to write a lease agreement in Tennessee.
Step 1 – Fill Out the Date of Agreement
Write the date of the Lease/Rental Agreement.
Step 2 – Enter the Parties’ Information
Provide the name and address of the parties that are signing the agreement. First is the landlord or management company and their current address. Then write in all tenants and their current addresses.
Step 3 – Describe the Property
Describe the type of rental property such as an apartment or house and provide the full street address of the rental property.
Step 4 – Enter the Term of the Lease
Write the term (length) of the lease in months and enter the beginning and end dates of the lease. If the lease is month-to-month, provide the start date of the lease.
Step 5 – Enter Rent Details
Provide the monthly rental amount, the date the rent is due each month and the acceptable payment method(s). Any late fees or grace period for late payment of rent can be added.
Step 6 – Enter Security Deposit Amount
Write the amount of the security deposit the landlord will collect from the tenant, typically done at the beginning of the lease.
Step 7 – Additional Provisions
Provide additional and optional provisions such as regarding use of guarantor, payment of utilities, maintenance and repairs, alterations, or allowance or prohibition of pets, smoking, or sublease.
Step 8 – Signatures
The landlord and tenant(s) will sign and date the lease agreement.
Tennessee Residential Lease Agreement Sample
The sample lease agreement below describes a contract between “Landlord” Betty Michaels and “Tenant” Ron Freeman. He agrees to rent a house in Nashville for $1,500 per month and continuing on a month-by-month basis. The tenant agrees to pay for all utilities and services for the Premises.
This is a good example of a simple lease agreement’s provisions and how one should look in its final form.
Sample Tennessee Residential Rental Agreement
Below is a free form you can download to lease residential property in Tennessee. You can also use this document as an example of what a typical Tennessee rental agreement looks like.
Tennessee Lease Agreement Sampletennessee-residential-rental-lease-agreement