Tennessee Residential
Lease Agreement for
Rental Properties


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Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.

In Tennessee, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Tennessee landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.

This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a residential lease agreement Tennessee considers compliant, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Tennessee lease template for download!

Tennessee rental lease agreements are legally binding documents that outline the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease must adhere to Tennessee’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.

The following components should be included in all Tennessee lease agreements.

Lease Term

This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.


Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. Tennessee does not have statewide rent control laws, so landlords can set their own rent rates without statutory restrictions. However, keep in mind that it is always illegal to raise rent in retaliation against a tenant in Tennessee for submitting a complaint or using legal remedies.

Late Fees

The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In Tennessee, late fees cannot exceed 10% of the amount of rent due (<a href=”;crid=3fc18622-fd55-449e-96a9-d8911c43ea39&amp;nodeid=ACNABCAACAAB&amp;nodepath=%2FROOT%2FACN%2FACNABC%2FACNABCAAC%2FACNABCAACAAB&amp;level=4&amp;haschildren=&amp;populated=false&amp;title=66-28-201.+Terms+and+conditions.&amp;config=025054JABlOTJjNmIyNi0wYjI0LTRjZGEtYWE5ZC0zNGFhOWNhMjFlNDgKAFBvZENhdGFsb2cDFQ14bX2GfyBTaI9WcPX5&amp;pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fstatutes-legislation%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A4X8K-W720-R03N-S4M6-00008-00&amp;ecomp=8gf5kkk&amp;prid=bf274988-c742-4cba-bd5f-cc5e3509651e” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>TN Code § 66-28-201(d)</a>). Additionally, Tennessee law designates a mandatory grace period of five days. This means landlords cannot charge any fees for late rent until at least five days after the day rent is due. Be sure to fully explain your late fee policy in your Tennessee lease agreement so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late to pay rent.

Security Deposit

This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.

There is no limit on security deposit amounts in Tennessee. However, landlords in Tennessee are required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account/lending institution and to return deposits to tenants within 30 days after the lease terminates (or within seven days after a new tenant takes possession) (<a href=”;crid=1a7ee632-64f7-4719-b8ac-85b3ce5ab363&amp;nodeid=ACNABCAADAAB&amp;nodepath=%2FROOT%2FACN%2FACNABC%2FACNABCAAD%2FACNABCAADAAB&amp;level=4&amp;haschildren=&amp;populated=false&amp;title=66-28-301.+Security+deposits.&amp;config=025054JABlOTJjNmIyNi0wYjI0LTRjZGEtYWE5ZC0zNGFhOWNhMjFlNDgKAFBvZENhdGFsb2cDFQ14bX2GfyBTaI9WcPX5&amp;pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fstatutes-legislation%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A4X8K-W720-R03N-S4MB-00008-00&amp;ecomp=8gf5kkk&amp;prid=bf274988-c742-4cba-bd5f-cc5e3509651e” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>TN Code § 66-28-301(g1</a>)). The amount of the security deposit and the procedures for its return (minus any deductions) should be clearly stated in every Tennessee residential lease agreement.

Required Disclosures

This section encompasses crucial required disclosures, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. A residential lease agreement Tennessee considers compliant must include these disclosures, or they may be provided in a separate notice.

In Tennessee, the required disclosures are:

<li><strong>Lead-based paint</strong> – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.</li>
<li><strong>Landlord/agent identification</strong> – Tennessee landlords must disclose the name and address of the owner and any agents authorized to manage the property.</li>
<li><strong>Security deposit location</strong> – Tennessee landlords are required to disclose the location of the security deposit (but not the bank account number) to all tenants.</li>
<li><strong>Showings </strong>– Landlords in Tennessee must disclose in the lease their right to enter the unit within the final 30 days of the term to show the unit to prospective tenants.</li>

Landlord Right to Entry

In Tennessee, there are no specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Generally speaking, landlords can enter at any time, but many provide at least 24 hours’ notice to tenants. One exception is for showings during the final 30 days of the tenancy—in this case, the landlord is required give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering.

The landlord’s right to entry should be included and described in the lease, including the possible reasons for entry (e.g., showing, inspections, repairs, etc.).

Repairs & Maintenance

The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Tennessee rental lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.

Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures

This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.

A Tennessee residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. In Tennessee, landlords must send <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>eviction notices of specified lengths</a> before filing for eviction. These notice periods should be specified in the lease so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the rental agreement.

Community Rules

Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a Tennessee sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.

Joint and Severability Clause

This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.


Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.

Tennessee Lease Agreement Download

To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Tennessee lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Tennessee state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.


Understanding the nuances of a Tennessee residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a Tennessee lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Tennessee lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.