Tennessee Rental Lease Agreements

The Tennessee Rental Lease Agreements are contracts that set legal parameters for a landlord to lease their residential property to a tenant, in exchange for monthly payments. Upon signing, both parties will additionally have certain legal responsibilities to uphold related to the lease. However, they will also be provided with certain legal protections and rights. 

One of the most important steps both parties can take in the lead up to signing this contract is to read up on state-specific rental laws. For example, both parties should be aware that while most states do not provide for a grace period for rental payment, Tennessee state law does.

Types of Agreements

Commercial Lease Agreement (Tennessee Association of Realtors – Form F69) – A document that represents the conditions and responsibilities associated with the lease of a property to a business.

Download – Adobe PDF


Lease to Own Agreement – A contract that allows both a landlord and a tenant to be in accordance about the conditions whereby the tenant will eventually purchase the rental property from the landlord.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – In contrast to a fixed term lease, the duration of this lease is thirty (30) days at a time. The agreement will automatically renew, however, so long as neither party chooses to terminate it.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Roommate Agreement – This document should be created collaboratively by all roommates in a shared rental dwelling so that they each have a say about the general rules of conduct in the dwelling.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx)


Standard Residential Lease Agreement – Tennessee landlords and tenants should make use of this agreement to ensure they uphold state laws and are fully aware of their respective rights.

Download – Adobe PDF


Sublease Agreement – This agreement is created with the purpose of clarifying matters in connection to the sublease of a rental property by an original tenant to a new tenant.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx)


What is a Tennessee Lease Agreement?

A Tennessee Lease Agreement is a legal document that serves to establish relevant rights and obligations that the parties to the lease of a residential property must respect. Each of the rights and obligations must be stated clearly in the contract to ensure they are duly upheld. Should a landlord still be in the process of selecting a tenant, a rental application should be used to vet prospective tenants.

State Definition (§ 66-28-104(11)) – “means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under § 66-28-402 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.”

When is Rent Due?

According to § 66-28-201(c), rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by both parties to the lease. Unless there is an agreement the contrary, rent must be at the dwelling unit in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. Periodic rent must be paid at the beginning of any term of one (1) month or less.

In line with § 66-28-201(c), there is a five (5) day grace period “between the day the rent was due and the day a fee for the late payment of rent may be charged.”

Landlord’s Access

Emergency (§ 66-28-403(b)): The landlord may enter the rental dwelling without the tenant’s consent in emergency situations. State law defines an emergency as “a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances demanding immediate action.”

Non-Emergency (§ 66-28-403(a)): The landlord can access the rental property in a range of non-emergency situations, namely, “to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers or contractors.”

No notice period is specified in state law. However, in the interests of maintaining a healthy landlord-tenant relationship, landlords are advised to give tenants at least twenty-four (24) hours notice.

Required Disclosures

  • Lead Paint Disclosure: It is mandatory for landlords to disclose any known lead paint hazards in rental dwellings built before 1978. Landlords must also provide tenants with the government-issued pamphlet, Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home.
  • Showings (§ 66-28-403(5)): If a landlord wishes to show the rental premises to prospective tenants within the final thirty (30) days of the termination of the rental agreement, they may do so with at least twenty-four (24) hours notice prior to entry, provided that this right of access is set forth in the rental agreement.

Security Deposit Laws

Maximum: There is no maximum deposit amount stipulated by state law.

Returning to Tenant (§ 66-28-301(g)(1)): The landlord must return any security deposit they demanded from the tenant within thirty (30) days of the tenant vacating the rental dwelling or seven (7) days after a new tenant takes possession of the premises.