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    These downloadable Residential Lease Forms make it easy to show and lease rental units in Tennessee to tenants. Save time and money - these standardized forms mean you don't have to have a lawyer prepare all your lease documents.

    Q. How much can a landlord charge for a security deposit?

    A. Tennessee law does not set a statutory limit on the amount of the security deposit, as long as the amount is reasonable. It is difficult to say what a court might consider reasonable, but in general a deposit equal to the total of 1 or 2 month's rent would be considered within reasonable levels. Security deposits must be kept in a separate bank account that is used only for tenant deposits.

    Q. What can I use the security deposit for?

    A. If the tenant moves out with rent or other charges still unpaid, you can use the deposit to pay those amounts. But if there is damage to the rental unit caused by the tenant, you cannot use the deposit to pay for repairs until you comply with the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated § 66-28-301.

    Q. What does that mean?

    The landlord must inspect the premises within 10 days of the date the tenant moved out to look for damage. If there is damage, the landlord must deliver a list of all items and the estimated costs of repairs to the tenant. The tenant has the right to inspect the premises to verify the report. If both parties agree, or if the tenant fails to respond after receiving the report, the landlord can use the deposit to pay for repairs. But if the tenant disputes the report, he or she has the right to bring legal action to recover any funds retained by the landlord.

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