Tennessee Code Title 66. Property § 66-11-102

(a) There shall be a lien on any lot or tract of real property upon which an improvement has been made by a prime contractor or any remote contractor;  provided, that the lienor has complied with title 62, chapter 6.  If the lienor has not fully complied with title 62, chapter 6, no lien is established by this chapter.  The lien shall secure the contract price.

(b) The lien established by this section shall include a lien on any lot or tract of real property in favor of any land surveyor who has, by contract with the owner or agent of the owner of the real property, performed on the property the practice of land surveying, as defined in § 62-18-102 .  The lien shall secure the contract price.

(c)(1) The lien established by this section shall include a lien on any lot or tract of real property upon which an improvement has been made, by contract with the owner or the owner's agent, in favor of any person licensed to practice architecture or engineering under title 62, chapter 2, for architectural or engineering services performed with respect to the improvement actually made.  The lien shall secure the contract price.

(2) The lien provided for in subdivision (c)(1) shall attach as of the time of visible commencement of operations as provided in § 66-11-104 .

(3) This subsection (c) shall not apply to owner-occupants of one-family or two-family detached unit homes.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no prime contractor or remote contractor of a lessee of real property may encumber the fee estate unless the lessee is deemed to be the fee owner's agent.  In determining whether a lessee is the fee owner's agent, the court shall determine whether the fee owner has the right to control the conduct of the lessee with respect to the improvement and shall consider:

(1) Whether the lease requires the lessee to construct a specific improvement on the fee owner's property;

(2) Whether the cost of the improvement actually is borne by the fee owner through corresponding offsets in the amount of rent the lessee pays;

(3) Whether the fee owner maintains control over the improvement;  and

(4) Whether the improvement becomes the property of the fee owner at the end of the lease.

(e) A lien arising under this chapter shall not include in the lien amount any interest, service charges, late fees, attorney fees, or other amounts to which the lienor may be entitled by contract or law that do not result in an improvement to the real property or are otherwise not permitted by this chapter.

(f) When a lienor, without default, is prevented from completely performing the lienor's part, the lienor is entitled to a lien for as much of the contract price as the lienor has performed in proportion to the contract price for the whole, and the lienor's claim shall be adjusted accordingly.

(g) A lien for furnishing tools, equipment, or machinery arises under this chapter to the following extent:

(1) For the reasonable rental value for the period of actual use and any reasonable period of nonuse taken into account in the rental contract;  except that the reasonable rental value and reasonable periods of use and nonuse need not be determined solely by the contract;  or

(2) For the purchase price of the tools, equipment or machinery, but the lien for the price only arises if the tools, equipment or machinery were purchased for use in the course of the particular improvement and have no substantial value to the lienor after the completion of the improvement on which they were used.


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