The state of Tennessee adopted what is known as the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act to govern the legal relationship between landlords and tenants.
Lease agreements in Tennessee can be for 30 days up to one year. Any lease over 30 days must be in writing.
Condition of Property
Under Tennessee law a landlord must comply with housing and building codes affecting safety and health. The landlord must make all repairs necessary in a timely manner to keep the premises in a habitable condition.
Three Day Notice
If a tenant fails to pay rent, or breaches a material term of the lease agreement, the landlord can commence the eviction process. The initial step is issuing a three-day notice to the tenant to pay the rent or correct the lease violation. If the tenant fails to pay or correct, she must vacate or face an eviction lawsuit.
Access to Property
A landlord must provide a tenant reasonable notice to enter the premises. The tenant cannot unreasonably withhold consent to allow the landlord to enter. A landlord can enter without notice if there is a bona fide emergency (a broken pipe, for example).
A common misconception is that a tenant can withhold rent if a landlord fails to make repairs needed on the property. A tenant can take other legal action to force the landlord to take action.