Lee Signs Bill Restricting Foreign Ownership Of Tennessee Land

Image Credit: Appalachian Voices / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

Governor Bill Lee officially signed a bill into law that restricts foreign ownership of property within the borders of Tennessee on May 11th, 2023.

With this new law in place, foreign entities and individuals will not be able to purchase real estate in this state if they reside in a country currently sanctioned by the U.S. government. 

The text states more specifically that “a sanctioned nonresident alien, sanctioned foreign business, or sanctioned foreign government, or an agent, trustee, or fiduciary thereof, shall not purchase or otherwise acquire real property in this state” if their country of residence is on the U.S. sanctions programs and country information list.

Right now, there are a total of thirty-eight countries on the U.S. sanctions programs and country information list.

The House version of this bill, HB0040, was sponsored by Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin-District 74) and passed on the House floor by a 72-18 vote on April 21st

Corresponding Senate bill, SB0122, sponsored by Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains-District 8) was amended to clarify that real estate licensees, attorneys, and title companies or agents licensed in Tennessee involved in relevant transactions will not be held liable for violations of the act and that the relevant sanctioned foreign person(s) or entity would maintain liability.  

This amended version of the bill passed in the Senate on April 21st with a 22-4 vote and the House concurred in the amended bill with a vote of 83-6.

After receiving passage in both bodies of the legislature, the bill was sent to the governor’s desk for Gov. Lee’s consideration. 

Tennessee governors can either sign a bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without signing it by simply letting it sit on their desk for a period of ten days.

Gov. Lee officially signed this bill into law on Thursday of last week and it will take effect on July 1st, 2023, at which time every “nonresident alien, foreign business, or foreign government, or an agent, trustee, or fiduciary thereof, who owns an interest in real property in this state” will have a period of sixty days from date of property purchase, to register said property with the Office of the Secretary of State.

Additionally, this law is not retroactive, meaning it will not apply to any real property purchased and/or held before it goes into effect.

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at adelia@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

2 thoughts on “Lee Signs Bill Restricting Foreign Ownership Of Tennessee Land

  • May 17, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    It’s about time he did something worth while before he try’s to get passed a Anti- 2nd Amendment Red Flag GARBAGE!!

    • May 18, 2023 at 10:22 pm

      Agreed. Why does he seem to give a damn all of the sudden?


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