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I have failed to file a Notice to Owner in TN. I am now almost 90 days out from completion. Do I have any lien options?

TennesseeLien DeadlinesMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

I have failed to file a Notice to Owner in TN. I am now almost 90 days out from completion. Do I have any lien options?

1 reply

Oct 18, 2017
It is a bit unclear which notice you are speaking of, since neither the notice to owner required of a direct contractor nor the the notice of nonpayment required of non-direct contractors is "filed" and, it's the notice of nonpayment that has a "90-day" deadline. However, the below information may help.

Notice deadlines in Tennessee depend on the role of the potential lien claimant. For parties that did not contract with the property owner, a notice of nonpayment must be provided to the owner within 90 days of last day of each month in which labor and materials were provided, for which the claimant remains unpaid. For example, if labor was provided on August 3, then notice must be provided 90 days from August 31. Note that separate notices are required for each month unpaid services or materials are provided.

Parties that do contract directly with the property owner are required to give a "notice to owner" prior to entering into the contract.

The deadline to file the actual lien itself is also dependent on role, project type, and whether a notice of completion was recorded and filed. A breakdown of the potentially applicable deadlines can be found here: https://www.zlien.com/mechanics-lien/tennessee-lien-law-faqs/#When-is-the-Deadline-to-File-a-Tennessee-Mechanics-Lien

If 90 days have not yet passed from work, it is possible that both "preliminary" notice deadlines and mechanics lien deadlines may be met such that a valid and enforceable mechanics lien could be claimed, but time is of the essence.
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