Filing a Mechanic's Lien Claim in Tennessee
Mechanic's Liens are used to place a block or burden on a property owner's title when a claimant (such as a contractor or materials supplier) has not been paid for labor, materials, or equipment provided. In Tennessee, mechanic's liens are governed under Chapter 11 of the Tennessee Property Code.
In order to preserve the priority of the lien, as it concerns subsequent purchasers or encumbrancers for a valuable consideration without notice of the lien, the lienor, is required to record in the office of the register of deeds of the county where the real property, or any part affected, lies, a sworn statement of the amount for, and a reasonably certain description of the real property on, which the lien is claimed. Tenn. Prop. Code 66-11-112(a).
The recording party shall pay filing fees, and shall be provided a receipt for the filing fees, which amount shall be part of the lien amount. Id. The recordation must be done no later than ninety (90) days after the date the improvement is complete or is abandoned, prior to which time the lien shall be effective as against the purchasers or encumbrancers without the recordation. Id.
The owner must serve thirty (30) days' notice on prime contractors and on all of those lienors who have served notice in accordance with Tenn. Prop. Code 66-11-145 (the notice of non-payment) prior to the owner's transfer of any interest to a subsequent purchaser or encumbrancer for a valuable consideration. Id.
If the sworn statement is not recorded within that time, the lien's priority as to subsequent purchasers or encumbrancers shall be determined as if it attached as of the time the sworn statement is recorded. Id. Therefore, timely recording is of the utmost importance to protect full lien rights.
According to Tennessee Prop. Code 66-11-112(b), a building, structure or improvement is deemed to have been abandoned for purposes of the lien law when there is a cessation of operation for a period of ninety (90) days and an intent on the part of the owner or prime contractor to cease operations permanently, or at least for an indefinite period. If either of these occur, it is time to file your lien.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or relied upon as any substitute for speaking with an attorney. Please consult a Tennessee attorney familiar with construction law for any issues regarding mechanic's liens.
Deeds.com Tennessee Notice of Mechanics Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Tuesday January 7, 2020
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