Liens are a tool for contractors to use to their advantage. If you aren’t properly filing yours, you are making one of the biggest business blunders possible. Even if it takes some time to find the right laws for your state, it is imperative that you do. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in Tennessee and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of Tennessee requires for you to properly file a valid construction lien and bond claim.

How to File a Valid Lien in Tennessee:

  • Only a Place 1* Contractor has lien rights on residential projects (a 1 to 4 unit dwelling that is intended to be the principal place of residence for the Owner).
  • Place 2* and below Contractors and Material Suppliers must send notice of unpaid amounts to the Owner and the Place 1* Contractor within ninety (90) days of first work and/or materials supplied. You must send a separate notice for each month you are owed money.
  • All Contractors and Material Suppliers must file their lien within ninety (90) days of completion or abandonment and a notice of the lien that was filed must be sent to the Owner. 
  • Place 1* Contractors must file suit to enforce their lien within one (1) year after the work is finished. All other Contractors and Material Suppliers must file suit to enforce their lien within ninety (90) days after the notice of lien is served on the Owner.

How to Have a Valid Bond Claim in Tennessee:

  • A bond is required for a public project of more than $100,000.
  • Place 3* and above Contractors and Material Suppliers have bond claim rights.
  • You must file a notice of claim with the Place 1* Contractor within ninety (90) days of completion of the project.
  • You must file suit to enforce your bond claim within six (6) months of last work and/or materials supplied or within six (6) months of completion of the project whichever comes first.

If you work in Tennessee, it is crucial that you review the above rules and commit them to memory. Putting these laws into practice is your key to collecting payment. If you are looking to get a more in depth overview of how to approach Tennessee's Lien Laws, tune into this episode of The Quit Getting Screwed Construction Podcast. If you’d prefer to have someone else take care of filing your construction lien or bond claims, and do it the right way, contact an experienced Tennessee lien lawyer who knows construction law. Our sister company, The Cromeens Law Firm, has a 90% success rate of collections before having to foreclose on a lien, saving you costly legal fees. Secure your way to your rightful pay. File your liens properly today. 

 *The “places” referenced in the rules above correlate to the Construction Food Chain Chart from Karalynn Cromeens’ book,
Quit Getting Stiffed. The chart can be found here to use when following these lien and bond rules.