How new Tennessee law has affected construction

Some changes in Tennessee government have occurred since the state legislature passed the Construction Industry Payment Protection Act (CIPPA). affects the construction industry in major ways. Among other changes, it protects contractors who have completed the work on a given property but who have not been paid.

 

Since CIPPA went into effect, the way that business is conducted, both on the side of the contractor as well as the side of the property owner, has changed. Now, the approach is much stricter and more cautious. CIPPA affects projects that are just starting, are in progress, and new and renewed contracts.

Lien laws

One change in the law concerns liens. In the past, contractors were required to give notice to property owners about their potential rights to secure a lien against the property if they were not paid. While this requirement remains for homeowners and some other consumers, it no longer applies to most contractors in commercial real estate.

If a contractor wishes to enforce a lien against the property owner, it must be enforced within one year. Additionally, the contractor still has only 90 days in which to file a lawsuit after the deadline for being paid has passed.

Changes to construction defect laws

The law also makes specific requirements for giving notice of any construction defects before taking any legal action. However, the law provides that the terms of the contract itself are the controlling factor. If the contract spells out requirements for giving notice and opportunity to cure defects, and these requirements are different from those in the statute, the contract controls.

Another change is a statutory form that the contractor can submit to the property owner to get them to pay. The form has the support of Tennessee prompt payment laws behind it.

Getting solid advice

The construction industry is notorious for situations in which contractors find it hard to receive payment, but contractors have rights, as owners do. A knowledgeable lawyer can support and guide businesses with sound advice so that the property owners pay the contractors what they owe them.