The maximum duration of a standard residential lease is three (3) years in Tennessee. Leases for longer than three years must be in writing or they are not valid (TN Code § 66-7-101).
Verbal (oral) leases are valid for periods of shorter than three years. Landlords often opt for leases of one (1) year at a time. Even though shorter leases can be verbally conveyed, it is recommended that all lease agreements be in writing, as written leases provide more legal protections.
If there is no duration defined in the lease, it is assumed to be a periodic, month-to-month tenancy (TN Code § 66-28-201(c) (2018)).
The information for this answer was found on our Tennessee Residential Lease Agreement answers.