If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to secure payment from an owner or contractor for work or materials provided. This couldn’t have come at a worse time considering the labor, material, and financial restraints your company is likely dealing with. As always, the mechanic’s lien is the best tool for retrieving owed payment; however, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will make abiding by deadlines and correctly filing a lien a challenge.
In this brief article, a Nashville mechanic’s lien law attorney goes over what’s changed since the outbreak and what’s remained the same with regards to filing a mechanic’s lien in Tennessee. Always protect your lien rights by abiding by deadlines, sending the correct notices, and filing correctly.
Filing With the Register of Deeds
Although construction companies have remained in operation as essential businesses in The Volunteer State, local government offices have closed in order to combat the spread of COVID-19. This could create a challenge because all mechanic’s liens in Tennessee must be filed with the Register of Deeds in the county where the property is located.
For instance, Nashville contractors must file a mechanic’s lien with the Davidson County Register of Deeds. Although the office is currently closed, Register Karen Johnson stated, “Documents may still be e-filed, and customers may continue to file documents by mail addressed to Davidson County Register of Deeds, P.O. Box 196398, Nashville, TN 37219-6398.” Consult a Nashville lien lawyer with any questions about filing a lien with the Davidson County Register of Deeds.
Time Is of the Essence
As of the time of this writing, deadlines for filing a mechanic’s lien in Tennessee have not been tolled, meaning that you’ll still be under strict filing deadlines. 90 days is the magic number. Subcontractors (remote contractors) have to provide general contractors and owners with a Notice of Nonpayment via certified mail within 90 days “of the last day of each month within which work or labor was provided or materials, services, equipment, or machinery furnished…” During this same 90 day period, subcontractors will have 90 days to enforce the lien — general contractors have up to one year to enforce their liens. Although general contractors don’t have to provide a Notice of Nonpayment, it’s recommended that they do so in order to preserve their lien rights.
For Any Needed Assistance
The COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on our industry. Owners and general contractors are undoubtedly feeling the pressure. However, nothing changes the fact that contractors and subcontractors are entitled to payment for labor or materials provided. You’ve worked hard to get where you are today, as have your workers. You all deserve to be paid for the work you’ve performed.
If you need to file a mechanic’s lien at any time in the coming months, we encourage you to contact the Nashville mechanic’s lien law attorney from Cotney Construction Law. Our unlimited demand letter services can help protect your lien rights regardless of external circumstances.
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.