From Nashville to Memphis, Elvis and Graceland, to being the country music capital, Tennessee has a lot to boast. According to rents in this great state are below the US average. A typical two-bedroom apartment, rents for about $995 per month. The cost of living itself is below the national average. This could be a win-win for the for those that want to get rich the real estate way.  

At a Glance:

Late Fees: Tennessee late fees may only be charged after a 5-day grace period and no more than 10%. Security Deposit: This state is silent on a limit for the amount that may be required for a security deposit. Returned Payment Fee Limit: Payments returned may be assessed not more than a $30 fee. Notice to Enter: To make repairs as long as notice is provided, the landlord may enter.  

Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:

Tennessee regulates the amount of a late charge you may levy and it can be no more than 10% of the rent amount. However, it is important to understand that a late fee may not be charged until a 5-day grace period ends. If a rent payment is not paid, the landlord may charge an amount that is not more than $30. It is important to be sure that these fees are specified within in the lease agreement or somewhere on the premises in a conspicuous nature. Eliminate the possibility of bounced payments, late payments and no payments by using  Spark Rental’s rent automation service. We even offer a program called RentDeduct™ where the rent comes directly from your tenant’s payroll!  

Security Deposits:

There is no limit on the amount that may be collected for a security deposit in Tennessee.  However, all amounts deemed a security deposit must be kept in a bank account and used solely as a security deposit. Once a tenant desires to vacate the property or the landlord wants possession returned, the landlord must give the tenant a notice of the right to be present for an inspection. Now this may be done after the tenant has completely moved out. Just make sure it is done on the day of move-out or within 4 days after. If a tenant moves out and still owes rent or other fees, the landlord may take that amount from the security deposit. If the tenant leaves and does not have anything due, the landlord must send the refund to a forwarding address or the last known address. If there is no response from the tenant within 60 days, the landlord may remove the money from the account and keep it.
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Tennessee requires the landlord to keep the rental in habitable condition. And there are many preventative steps a landlord can take to save money on maintenance.  

Right of Entry:

If there is an emergency, the landlord may enter to secure the premises and make necessary repairs. For a non-emergent repair, the landlord must provide fair notice before entering. If the reason to enter is to show the apartment to prospects; this can only be done in the last thirty days before the tenant is due to vacate.  

Notice to End Lease:

Got a lease with a beginning date and an ending date? Tennessee has no stated law regarding how to end this type of lease. And that means your rental or lease agreement steps in! If the landlord uses a month to month lease; generally, either the landlord or the tenant will provide a thirty-day notice to end it. And for those that run week to week, ten days’ notice would be needed.  


Did you know that the number one reason for eviction is for non-payment of rent? Furthermore, often this happens when a full tenant screening is not conducted. Hindsight, right? According to the statutes surrounding Tennessee evictions, if there is no rent being paid, or damage (beyond normal wear) or an intentional violent act; the landlord provides to the offending tenant, a 14 days’ notice to terminate the tenancy. Be careful with evictions as they can become tricky. If you have any questions and want to speak to a real, live attorney, check out Spark Rental’s Ask-An-Attorney feature. Just scroll down, ask in the green box and click “Get an answer” and voila! (there may be a minimal cost). Oh, by the way, anyone with any legal question that needs specific answers can ask an attorney as well.   Are you looking for a state- specific rental lease? Not only is our state-compliant Tennessee lease agreement extremely protective for the landlord and rental property, it is also completely editable and reusable.
DISCLAIMER: Wellspring Financial LLC DBA is for informational purposes only! Any information, legal or otherwise is provided “as is” without any representations, truth, accuracy, exactness or warranties, expressed or implied. Any data, form, or information provided shall NOT be construed or taken to be legal advice. You must NOT rely on any data, form, or information on this website as an alternative to obtaining sound, legal advice from a licensed or professional legal service provider.    

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