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Should you do any more work on a property after filing a lien

TennesseeMechanics Lien

We finished a Insurance fire claim on a house. We had the Mortgage Inspector come out and it was approved and check was issued. The code office also passed and the customer signed off on the Punch List. When the customer received the last check he would not give it to us although legally he had no right to hold it. He also owes about $25,000.00 more that that. My question is can you go back and do any work on the house after filing a lien on it.

1 reply

May 2, 2019
That's a good question, and I'm sorry to hear you're having payment trouble. Once a mechanics lien is filed, there is generally nothing that actually prevents a construction business from continuing their work. Though, it would hardly be surprising if an owner blocked their contractor from continuing work after a lien has been filed. But, for a construction business who is filing a lien before their work is done - it may make sense to return to the job (or at least make an attempt). If a contractor walks off the job, even after a payment dispute erupts, there's a chance they might accidentally find themselves in breach of the contract. Further, if the owner refuses to let construction continue, the owner themselves might be in breach of the contract - which could help recovery efforts if the payment dispute gets ugly. At the same time, if it's obvious payment won't be coming, a contractor will likely need to mitigate their losses, at some point. Levelset discusses some considerations regarding walking off the job here: Construction Questions – Should You Walk Off the Job If Not Paid?. Further, you can find Tennessee-specific mechanics lien resources here: Tennessee Lien & Notice Overview.
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