Tennessee Sublease Agreement

Last Updated: December 29, 2023 by Jessica Menefee

Tennessee Residential Sublease Agreement Template_1 on iPropertyManagement.com

The Tennessee sublease agreement is a legal contract that allows a tenant to rent out all or a portion of the property to a subtenant in exchange for regular payments.

Does a Tenant Need the Landlord’s Permission to Sublet in Tennessee?

A tenant does need a landlord’s explicit written permission to sublet in Tennessee. Even after permission is given, a landlord still has the right to reject a subtenant if they are unqualified, such as for having prior evictions or bad references.

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Standardized Tennessee Sublease Agreements

A standard form can be used in Tennessee to create a sublease. Here’s what is generally included in a Tennessee sublease agreement:

  • The Names of the Parties – The original tenant under the lease is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessor.” The third party that is subleasing the rental unit is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessee.”
  • Rental Unit Location – The address for the rental unit as described in the master lease.
  • Rent – How much the rent is, when it needs to be paid, and how to pay it.
  • Term – The exact date of the sublease beginning and ending date.
  • Master Lease Inclusion – A copy of the Master Lease is attached to the sublease. If any exceptions in the Master Lease are not included they should be clearly stated in this section.
  • Landlord’s Consent – This section describes how the landlord is asked to give permission (if permission is not already included in the Master Lease). Tenants may create a signed sublease that is conditional on being accepted by the landlord before the sublease becomes effective.
  • Security Deposit – The security deposit is held by the Sublessor (not the landlord). There is no limit on how much a landlord can collect for a security deposit in Tennessee.
  • Pet Deposit – Landlords can collect an additional pet deposit in Tennessee, except for service dogs and emotional support animals.
  • Return of Security Deposit – Tennessee does not have a specific deadline for the return of a security deposit. Landlords must return the security deposit to the tenant within a reasonable length of time with a written notice stating how much they withheld (if any).
  • Lead-Based Paint Notice – Under Federal law, if the rental unit’s premises were built before 1978, the Sublessee must be given a written warning notice, called a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure.
  • Inventory of Included Items – The list of items in the rental unit that are part of the sublease which may include furniture or appliances.
  • Utilities – The utilities to be paid by the Sublessee and those that are to be paid by the Sublessor.
  • Disputes – A description of how disputes between the Sublessor and Sublessee are to be settled, which may include mediation and binding arbitration to avoid more expensive legal proceedings.
  • General Conditions – A statement that the written sublease agreement contains all of the agreements between the parties and can only be modified by written permission of the parties to the agreement.
  • Liability – The sublessee will be liable for any damages to the Sublessor. The Sublessor has the ultimate responsibility to pay for any damages that impact the landlord as stated in the master lease agreement.
  • Authorized Occupants – This identifies the new tenant(s) and those that are authorized to live in the rental unit including any policy about short-term guests.
  • Parking Policy – List designated areas where subtenants and their guests may park and include information about any parking fees.
  • Smoking Policy – If smoking is restricted in the rental unit and any designated smoking areas are identified in the sublease.
  • Signature: The signature and date for the Sublessor, the Sublessee, any Co-Sublessors, and Co-Sublessees (if they exist).

Tax Implications of a Sublease in Tennessee

In Tennesee, a sublessor may be subject to state, county, and city sales tax if they sublet for 90 days or less. For example, in Nashville, taxes may include:

  • Tennessee State Sales Tax – 7%
  • Davidson County Sales Tax – 2.25%
  • Nashville Occupancy Tax – 6% + $2.50 per occupied room