Yes, a contract to lease is binding in Tennessee. As long as a written lease has been signed by either the landlord and the tenant, it is considered legally binding.
If the landlord does not sign the rental agreement but accepts the rent, both parties are bound to a month-to-month tenancy. If the tenant doesn’t sign the lease but pays the rent, it has the same effect (TN Code § 66-28-202 (2018)).
The information for this answer was found on our Tennessee Residential Lease Agreement answers.