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Tennessee Residential Lease Agreement

Start a comprehensive and legally binding Tennessee lease agreement to rent real estate you own to one or more tenants. Get guidance on each step and expert tips with the help of our contract maker.

Last Update May 2nd, 2022

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What is a Tennessee Residential Lease Agreement

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant. This is written to conform to state laws where the property is located. In Tennessee these allow both parties to comply with a series of set terms for a specified number of months or years.

Rental contracts and lease agreements have a lot of similarities as they both set out payment plans and the terms of use for a house or apartment. However, the big difference is the duration that they cover. Rental agreements usually only cover short-term tenancies of a few months at a time or month-to-month contracts.

A lease agreement should contain the following details:

  • How long the tenant may legally reside in the property

  • How much rent should be paid

  • Information about the security deposits necessary

  • When rental installments are due

  • Any additional costs that must be serviced by the tenant

  • The rules regarding the proper use of the property

  • Situations that constitute lease violation eviction procedures

Types of Tennessee Lease Agreements

There are many types of TN lease agreement forms that can be used to manage and legally bind many different types of rental situations. They allow landlords to rent out various types of property they might have and for tenants to find the best kind of tenancy for their needs.

The most common types of lease agreements in Tennessee include:

  • Standard residential lease agreements: Under a standard lease agreement both the landlord and tenant commit to a fixed set of terms that last for a series of months or years.

  • Lease-to-own lease agreements: Lease agreements with lease-to-own options allow the possibility of the tenant purchasing the property during the term.

  • Month-to-month rental agreements: Month-to-month lease agreements will often have similar basic terms to standard residential lease contracts. However, they differ as they can be renewed or ended on a month-by-month basis. Their terms may also be flexibly altered each month. 

  • Commercial lease agreements: Commercial leases are provided by landlords of retail property to tenants that intend to use the real estate to run a business.

  • Room rental agreements: In rental properties with shared living areas a room rental agreement can be used to rent a singular bedroom. 

  • Farm lease agreements: Lease agreements for a piece of land or structure that is used for certain agricultural purposes such as the growing of crops. 

  • Sublease Agreement: A Tennessee sublease agreement allows tenants to reassign or ‘sublease’ the property to another individual. This requires the property landlord’s permission and must be specifically allowed in the original lease.

Disclosures for Tennessee Lease Agreements

Tennessee lease agreements must contain a few disclosures and addendums when they are completed and signed. This is to properly inform the tenant of any health risks or potential issues with the property or details about how the property is managed that they must be aware of. 

These essential addendums include the following: 

  • Lead paint disclosure: If the rental unit is in a building constructed before 1978, the landlord or their agent must disclose whether lead paint can be found on the property and must provide safety information for any located on the premises. 

  • Agent/owner identification: The lease agreement must include a section or an addendum that discloses the contact information of the landlord or a chosen agent who will act on their behalf.

  • Showings disclosure: In the case that the landlord wants to show the property to prospective tenants before the lease is over, this must be specified within the agreement. 

Tennessee Lease Agreement Laws

A Tennessee lease agreement must be written and signed within the laws of Tennessee state, otherwise, it will be legally contestable and can be declared invalid and block either party from recourse if a violation is committed. These will police how you start and end the contract and control what procedures you can reasonably ask a tenant to follow.

The most important laws to consider when you are renting a property in Tennessee include:

  • Security deposits: There is no limit to how much TN landlords may charge as a security deposit. This must be returned to the tenant within 30 days of vacating the property and returning the keys, as specified by Tennessee law. Landlords must also give advance notice of any deductions.

  • Landlord’s right to enter: Landlords can enter the rental property without having to give any prior notice in both emergency and non-emergency situations. However, most landlords give a reasonable amount of notice before entering an inhabited unit.

  • Further contact details: If the property is managed by anyone other than the landlord, tenants must be provided with their contact details so communications to the landlord can be properly handled.

Tennessee Residential Lease Agreement Sample

Before beginning the process of creating a residential lease agreement in Tennessee it is sensible to review an example document first. Use our TN lease agreement sample below to find out more about the structure and contents of a fully-fledged rental contract.

FAQs About Tennessee Lease Agreement

It is important to carefully prepare a TN lease agreement to suit the needs of the landlord and tenant exactly. To help demystify the process a little simply review our FAQs below to learn more about the specificities of rental contracts in Tennessee. 

Lease agreement or rental agreement?

There is a key difference between a Tennessee lease agreement and a Tennessee rental agreement, which is the length of duration that they each cover.

Lease agreements are normally longer-term arrangements that can last several months or even years, in which their terms remain fixed. Rental agreements on the other hand are shorter-term in nature but are more flexible and may be changed on a weekly or monthly basis.

What are the advantages of a written lease?

It’s important to have a written TN lease agreement in operation whether you are a landlord or a tenant. There are many advantages to having a formal contract for a rental property such as the right to recourse if the terms are violated and the protection of important legal rights for rental property owners and residents.

When can a landlord change the lease?

Usually, a Tennessee lease agreement cannot be changed once it is signed. Its terms will remain fixed until it reaches its agreed expiration date or it is terminated due to a violation by either party. 

With a rental agreement or month-by-month tenancy, however, the terms of the agreement can potentially be changed each rental period. This means the landlord can amend or end the terms of the contract every 30 days if they wish.  

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