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 following disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Tennessee.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in Tennessee.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Tennessee.
Any individual authorized to manage the rental property (including the landlord and owner) must disclose their name and address so that future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. Generally, this information is provided in the lease agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy.
Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure
Applicable to all rental units holding a security deposit.
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:
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.
Tennessee landlords may only enter a tenant’s dwelling in the case of an emergency or with permission from the tenant. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit with a tenant’s consent to inspect the rental unit, make necessary and agreed repairs or services, decorations, improvements, and alterations.
If a Right to Enter for Showings disclosure is included in the lease agreement, they 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.
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:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Tennessee law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Tennessee law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
- Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious and negligent damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the rental agreement or signed as a separate document.
- Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. Tennessee limits these fees to 10% of the rent past due to be charged no sooner than five days after failure to pay.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to the tenant’s negligence during the lease term.