Tennessee Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: July 14, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

The Tennessee residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) outlines the conditions agreed upon by a landlord and tenant for the residential use of real estate. The contract will include the length of the agreement (“term”), the payment amount (“rent”), as well as the obligations of the tenant while leasing the property.

Tennessee Lease Agreement Disclosures

The below disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Tennessee.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord’s Name/Address All Units
Security Deposit Holdings Units with Security Deposits
Showings Showing the Property Before the Lease Ends
Lead Paint All Units Prior to 1978
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Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Tennessee.

Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.

Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure

Applicable to all rental units holding a security deposit in Tennessee.

When charging and holding a security deposit, a Tennessee landlord must disclose the location of the account where the deposit is being held. However, the number of the account does not need to provided.

SECURITY DEPOSIT HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE. The security deposit of $____, highlighted in this lease, can be found at the following location:

BANK:_____

Download: Tennessee Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure Form (PDF)

Right to Enter for Showings Disclosure

Applicable to any rental agreement where the landlord wishes to reserve the right to enter to show the property before the end of the lease term in Tennessee.

When a “Right to Enter for Showings” disclosure is included in the lease agreement, the landlord may enter to show the property without permission if the entry occurs within 30 days of the end of the lease and is preceded by at least 24 hours of notice.

Download: Tennessee Right to Enter for Showings Disclosure Form (PDF)

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.

It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Tennessee to:

Download: Tennessee Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Tennessee law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

Optional Disclosure How the Disclosure is Helpful
Asbestos This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.
Late/Returned Check Fees Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Tennessee there are limits on late fees which are 10% of the rent past due and shall not be charged sooner than five days after failure to pay. Returned check fees are limited to $30.
Medical Marijuana Use Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.
Mold Disclosure Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.
Move-in Checklist A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.
Non-Refundable Fees A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.
Shared Utilities Arrangements For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
Smoking Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.

If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)

It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.

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