Many contractors and subcontractors have learned this the hard way: failure to comply with the filing and notice requirements for a mechanic’s lien can result in losing the lien and an effective way of ensuring payment for a job.

Earlier this year, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that a subcontractor did not have a valid mechanic’s lien because it failed to serve the notice of nonpayment on both the owner and the “prime contractor,” the general contractor that had direct contractual relations with the owner. Instead, the subcontractor served the notice of nonpayment on the contractor who hired it to perform work on the project. Because the subcontractor failed to comply with Tennessee’ mechanic’s lien law, its suit for enforcement was dismissed.[1]

For more information regarding the requirements for a mechanic’s lien in Tennessee, the Summary for Mechanic’s Lien and Prompt Pay Act Under Tennessee Law sets out the general mechanic’s lien requirements for both the “prime contractor” and “remote contractor,” along with the relevant Tennessee statutory provisions. It also discusses requirements under Tennessee’s Prompt Pay Act with the relevant statutory provisions.