A rental agreement is a common contract between the lessor and the lessee (also called “the landlord” and “the tenant” in most documents). It guarantees their rights and outlines their responsibilities in regards to the leased property. A Tennessee rental agreement is a very common and straightforward form used to rent both commercial and private properties. If you are planning to let or rent a property in Tennessee, no matter what size the property is and what are the relationships between the tenant and the landlord, you should have a lease agreement form.
A Tennessee rental agreement allows the tenant to live on the property if they pay rent regularly and adhere to the rules outlined in the agreement. Both the landlord and the tenant should take their time to decide whether the conditions suit their interests before signing the agreement.
Although many states allow verbal rental agreements for periods up to one year, it is always recommended to have a written lease so that both parties have a copy with clearly outlined terms. Written agreements are also easier to use in court settings.
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According to the United States laws, every lessor planning to let a property built before 1978 must prepare a lead-based paint disclosure. It is mandatory for all states.
Here is the checklist of other disclosures that the lessor should include in a conventional Tennessee lease agreement:
The lessor usually asks for a damage deposit (or a “security deposit”) to cover potential damages to the property or outstanding rent if there is any at the end of the tenancy. The tenant pays the security deposit before the start of the lease. The state of Tennessee does not impose limits on how much money the lessor can ask for as a security deposit.
Landlords and tenants often end up in disputes over damages to the property. Both parties should, first of all, remember that “normal wear and tear” is not covered by the security deposit. The tenant will be charged for any damage to the property arising from improper or careless use of items in the property by the tenant themselves or their guests. There could be a separate clause in the lease agreement for a pet deposit in case the tenant has a pet and the landlord allows pets in the property.
In Tennessee, according to the TN Code §66-28-301, the landlord has to return the deposit within 30 days of the tenant leaving the property or within seven days from when the new tenant moved in.
The tenant should not prevent the landlord from entering the premises for appropriate reasons, such as inspection or repairs. Still, the only case when the landlord can enter without the consent of the tenant is in case there is an emergency. Moreover, the landlord can show the property to prospective tenants in the last month of the lease, but only if this right is included in the lease agreement and with a notice of 24 hours.