The mechanics lien is arguably the most important tool in a contractor’s arsenal when an owner decides to withhold payment, but it isn’t without its flaws. Fortunately, contractors don’t have to take on the responsibility of filing a mechanics lien alone. By partnering with a Nashville construction lien lawyer, a contractor can avoid the mechanics lien follies that commonly lead to a rejected claim or a loss of lien rights. Don’t lose your ability to secure the compensation you are due, partner with an experienced Nashville construction lien lawyer from Cotney Construction Law and regain control of your business.
1. Serving Notices
Tennessee is home to some of the most complicated lien laws in the country, which opens up contractors to an array of potential pitfalls if they aren’t familiar with the notices and deadlines required to validate their mechanics lien. Although a Notice of Intent to Lien isn’t mandatory in the State of Tennessee, it’s highly recommended that contractors furnish this notice to incentivize owners to pay before proceeding with the lien process. That said, a Notice to Owner is required to be served by any contractor who wants to preserve their lien rights before project commencement. These are only two examples of the notices you may be legally required to serve in order to preserve your lien rights. There are distinct notice requirements for general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers, so it’s best to consult a Nashville mechanics lien law attorney before taking any ill-advised actions.
2. Sending the Wrong Notice or Form
When the time comes to send a notice or form to the relevant party, selecting the right documents for your needs can be more complex than you might expect. There are a wide range of construction-related documents pertaining specifically to the Volunteer State, including:
- Notice of Intent to Lien
- Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver
- Final Conditional Lien Waiver
- Partial Conditional Lien Waiver
- Final Unconditional Lien Waiver
- Sworn Affidavit to Owner
- Notice of Completion
- Bond to Discharge Lien
- Mechanics Lien Release
- Notice to Owner
- Notice of Nonpayment
- Notice of Lien
This is only a partial list that doesn’t account for the various notices that can be utilized in all states. Even if you manage to secure the proper form, without an experienced legal representative by your side to ensure that your documents are being prepared correctly, you could be unknowingly putting your lien rights in jeopardy.
3. Making Assumptions
The bottom line: no contractor should attempt to file a mechanics lien against an owner without legal help. There’s simply too much at risk to make a mistake. Your lien rights are valuable, and losing them can put your business in a risky situation. If even one owner decides to withhold payment, it could affect your cash flow to the point where other projects are impacted. Soon, the actions of one owner could derail unrelated projects and cause your business to go under. Don’t let this happen, consult a Nashville construction lien lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.