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Tennessee Construction Law Questions & Answers
0 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: Got bill from a contractor, 8 days later was served a summons to appear for lawsuit for nonpayment.

Already paid 50% deposit, thought it couldn't be more than 33%, only 2nd bill i received. Work was not acceptable & couldn't come to agreement of how to fix. This is in Hamilton county TN getting sued for nonpayment $2200 already paid $2200. Thought i had to be notified by certified... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: Theoretically speaking , if i own a small business construction business and a employee takes things and we both r arres

Arrested How does one get himself out of it if the other won’t take his charge

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jan 25, 2024

Hire an attorney to prepare for a Preliminary Hearing. If facts look bad, consider asking for diversion after restitution, even though you stole nothing. A conviction will hurt you for the rest of your life.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: I bought a home in Tennessee closed on September 29 2021. The home inspector lied about cracks in foundation.

The Retailor suggested the home inspector company Chattanooga Home Inspector. Now I am finding multiple foundation cracks that were DYI sealed.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Nov 13, 2023

Did seller give you a residential disclosure statement? Read it verbatim and see what it says about the foundation. 1 year SOL from fraudulent execution of statement. Hopefully agent signed it also, for an additional defendant. But you will need to track down seller: location; bank; job.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Tennessee on
Q: I operate a small business and have a signed contract for work completed. The customer will not pay the full amount.

If the customer pays a partial payment is it smart to sign a waiver of lien?

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 7, 2023

That is your decision.. But you will not be able to file a M & M Lien, and probably will not get paid anymore. Suit now, or better, filing the Lien now, will probably yield better results.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: We recently found out them the company we hired to build a garage for us is not licensed in the state of Tennessee.

When we hired them we were still living in Illinois. The work that has been done has been delayed and is shoddy. The had us out more than 50 % down. Do we have any recourse?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jul 12, 2023

In a situation where you hired a company to build a garage and later discovered that they are not licensed in the state of Tennessee, there may be potential recourse available to you. Reviewing the contract you have with the company can help determine if there have been any breaches of contract.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I force a home improvement contract to be broken when the contractor made an admitted measurement mistake?

I ordered replacement windows. The contractor stated he did not note that the exterior measurements were different from the interior measurements. The option is to cut the brick around my windows which I do not want to do. They will not break contract for a refund and will not honor warranty... View More

Henry Ambrose
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answered on May 22, 2023

You should consult a lawyer who practices construction law and is familiar with the licensing requirements and work. From your description, the contractor made a mistake and you should not have to pay for his mistake. You seem to have bargained for something other than what they are offering to do... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: I have a contractor who refuses to install multiple items in accordance with standard practice. What recourse have I?

Biggest items are:

i) roofing metals not installed with solid sheeting for an insulated space;

ii) grinder pump not installed with required access and backfilled with rocks; and

iii) siding installed nailed to the external ply.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Mar 1, 2023

Refuse to accept the non-conforming work

Give the contractor notice and a reasonable opportunity to cure

Hire another contractor to perform or complete the work

Deduct your cost of the new contractor from the price you agreed to pay the original contractor

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: Contractor didnt pull permits while installing sub panel home burnt down due to breaker box being over loaded law suit?

Installed new hvac system breaker box was full so they installed a sub panel. Didn't now have permits nor inspections. Our home burns down 5 months later fire dept and investigators deem our breaker box was over loaded them not get a permit nor a inspections is this a law suit

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 22, 2023

Better start checking out the financial and asset status of your probable defendants. If insurance is involved, the carrier will have subordination rights. Proving your cause of action for negligence and proximate cause will be difficult, so get opinions of what happened in writing if... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is there a window of time that a contractor has to foreclose on a lien filed in TN? It’s been 8 yrs since it was filed.

The lien was filed by a contractor who was paid in full by the insurance company after a rebuild from a fire. He didn’t have the capital to continue after the first draw was received so we wrote letters to the insurance company to secure funds to continue several times. The job wasn’t completed... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 20, 2023

Best advice is to hire an attorney to draft a M & M Lien Release, and a demand letter. Send it to all possible addresses of contractor, as personal service may be a serious issue. If refused, then file suit to declare the lien extinguished for not being executed upon in the statutory... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: I had A home built but it has major problems with foundation and roof and electrical. I filed a complaint with Tn Board

The contractors board seems to not care about the damage this guy has done to my home. They continue to issue him , license under different names and addresses. But I found out yesterday that he forged my electrical permit and he is not even license to do electrical work but he did the entire... View More

Henry Ambrose
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answered on Mar 1, 2023

It sounds as if the contractor may not be properly licensed or doing work he is not licensed to do. This may violate the contractors licensing statutes and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA allows for treble damages and attorney's fees. This can get pretty complicated --- you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: How can I take care of a charge like this ? I have already sent payment back to the homeowner,

I never blew him off or avoided him , he sent a demand letter to return his money I got it but didnt see it for a couple weeks my kids brought it in and threw it on the counter , a warrant has been issued and I want to take care of this without my name being anywhere because of it as I do run a... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Dec 19, 2022

You did not say if it was a criminal or civil warrant. With civil, just make sure the check cashes and you go to Court to have it dismissed, probably with you also paying costs. On Criminal, hire an attorney to get it Diverted, Dismissed and Expunged. Do not try to pay directly again, but make... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: What legal claim, if any, do we have against the builder?

We are waiting to get back topo + boundary surveys but, according to the GIS, our brand new build (and all our neighbors brand new builds) were built on (or *way* over) each other's property lines. It's not like the builder got the whole plan shifted x amount of feet, everyone's... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Nov 9, 2022

Either a 3 year or 4 year Statute of Limitations probably applies to your cause of action. Hire an attorney now to examine the builder's, seller's and/or surveyor's negligence. Hopefully you have not busted the SOL. Boundary Line Agreements for adjoining landowners are... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Personal Injury and Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: My husband works in downtown nashville in construction. He found all his equipment doused in port-a-potty water today

This was done by a different company maliciously against him specifically. His equipment is ruined and he unfortunately came into contact with the fecal waste. What can he do regarding this? He has evidence and samples to prove this was the case. Can’t find specific TN law or osha regulation for... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 30, 2022

That is a possible Vandalism Criminal Charge. Call the Police. A civil warrant for Property Damage could be filed in General Sessions also. There may have been witnesses or even video. It will take admissible proof to go after them.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Construction Law and Contracts for Tennessee on
Q: What is the max amount of a deposit a contractor can require down from a customer in TN
Henry Ambrose
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answered on Aug 11, 2022

You should probably consult a lawyer to review the contract. If any part of the agreement seems questionable you should make sure of what you are being asked to sign before you sign. There might be more problems than you notice.

Also look at the State of Tennessee website:...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Tennessee on
Q: I have a contract to get a 4 seasons patio. The employee misquoted the price. They want to charge me 7k additional. Can

Can they do this? I have a signed contract. The job was 25000 and I’ve paid 12,000z

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jun 6, 2022

Your signed contract probably allows the service provider all types of increasing the price for changes, materials, etc. Hire an attorney to review the contract and possibly negotiate a lower increase in the contract price.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: My contractor hasn’t finished a simple job for 9 months. Can I just fire him or do I have to wait a certain # of days?

It’s a covered porch. Had to redo cement already. Is t building the roofline agreed to. I just want to cut my losses.

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Apr 7, 2022

Your contract would control whether you can fire him. If his lack of performance has materially breached your agreement, then you may have options. Consult counsel to determine your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can substantial completion be reached on new construction if there is not a fully functioning bathroom? Statue or code?

Contractor is claiming substantial completion took place before there was a functioning bathroom in my new house while it was under construction. Contractor’s attorney questioned me extensively in small claims court about all the plumbing fixtures in the house which lead me to believe all... View More

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Dec 1, 2021

Substantial completion means that the owner can use the improvement for the use intended. See TCA 28-3-201. There is a lot of case law on the issue. There are exceptions, such as contract terms, change orders, etc. Consult a lawyer if you need help with your case.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Contracts for Tennessee on
Q: I work for a restoration contracting franchise can we bring civil litigation against an insurance carrier that owes us $

1 insurance carrier owes us almost $20k going back to Labor Day 2020. Can we sue for that?

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright
answered on Jul 22, 2021

If the insurer had agreed to pay for your work as opposed to the insured then the insurer may be liable. If your contract/ agreement is with the insured- and the insurer is supposed to pay the insured- then your customer may have to pursue the insurer and your remedy may be against your customer-... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Construction Law for Tennessee on
Q: If a person was injured due to his own negligence while working on my house am I liable

The painter stacked a ladder on top of a scalpel to get on the roof after my husband advised him not to do so. While my husband was working on getting a ladder, the painter went on the roof and fell off the ladder that was stacked on the scalpel. He is now saying he is going to sue us. Are we... View More

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Feb 10, 2021

A Tennessee attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for a week. As a general matter, workers' comp is meant to cover such accidents. That does not mean someone would still not try to sue. It could be difficult to give a quick yes or no answer to your question based on the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Contracts and Consumer Law for Tennessee on
Q: Where can I get help with a construction business that has sent me a bill of charges more than I was told to do the job?

I am a 62 year old senior living in the state of TN between Knoxville and Athens, TN. I've been sent a bill charging more than double the time the serviceman/men spent actually doing the job. Also, they're charging me more than double what I could have spent on parts and more than 4... View More

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright
answered on Dec 16, 2020

I would suggest you communicate in writing as well as orally your dispute to the contractor asking for an explanation of all charges. There may be an explanation - and the Contractor hasn't provided you with enough information. On the other hand there could be a mistake and you have been... View More

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