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Tennessee Preliminary Notice FAQs

Last updated August 2, 2022
Sending a Tennessee preliminary notice is an effective way to speed up payment on a construction project. A preliminary notice is an informational document typically sent to the property owner near the beginning of a construction project. Here's what you need to know about the rules and requirements for sending preliminary notice in Tennessee.


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Tennessee preliminary notice requirements for:

Private projects

Direct contractors must send notice on owner-occupied residential projects in Tennessee.

  • Due before job starts
  • Must be sent to the owner
  • Cannot be sent late

Direct contractors - those who have a contract with the property owner - must send a Notice to Owner prior to commencing work or executing the contract on a residential project of 1-4 units, where the owner resides on-site. A contractor who fails to send a required notice in Tennessee won't lose lien rights, but can result in criminal penalties. Additional "notice" language must also be in the contract itself.

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Public projects

Direct contractors are not required to send notice on public construction jobs in Tennessee.

On public jobs, any claims for non-payment are made against the general contractor's bond. Since GCs will not make a claim against their own payment bond, they do not have bond claim rights, and have no preliminary notice requirement.

Private projects

Subcontractors and suppliers must send notice in Tennessee.

  • Due within 90 days of the last date of each month
  • Must be sent to the owner and GC
  • Cannot be sent late

Sub-tier parties must send a Notice of Non-Payment to the property owner and the GC within 90 days of last day of the month labor and materials were provided. For example, if a subcontractor finished work on April 3, they must provide a Notice of Non-Payment within 90 days from April 30 (the last day of the month). Separate notices are required for each month unpaid services or materials are provided.

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Public projects

None required.

On public construction projects, Tennessee does not require preliminary notice to be delivered by any project participant in order to retain the right to make a claim against the payment bond. However, sending preliminary notice even when not required is generally beneficial to promote visibility, open channels for communication, and streamline payment.