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Federal and State Pre-emption

Reference Number: MTAS-67
Reviewed Date: 10/02/2023

Mobile Homes
The state establishes standards for electrical, gas, and oil systems in mobile homes and exempts state-approved systems from compliance with conflicting or more restrictive local ordinances. T.C.A. § 68-102-147(h).

State statutes pre-empt local authority in some building code matters. For example, mobile home anchoring regulations must comply with the Tennessee Manufactured Home Installation Act. T.C.A. §§ 68-126-401–412.

Federal statutes also pre-empt local authority regarding manufactured home construction.

42 U.S.C. § 5403(d) sets manufactured home construction and safety standards. It provides:

"Whenever a federal manufactured home construction and safety standard established under this chapter is in effect, no state or political subdivision of a state shall have any authority either to establish, or to continue in effect, with respect to any manufactured home covered, any standard regarding construction or safety applicable to the same aspect of performance of such manufactured home which is not identical to the federal manufactured home construction and safety standard."

The federal manufactured home construction and safety standards are found at 24 C.F.R. § 3280.

Condominium Ownership
A building code or land use ordinance may not prohibit the condominium form of ownership or impose any requirement on a condominium it “would” not impose on an identical development under a different form of ownership. T.C.A. § 66-27-206.

Notification that Property Is Downstream of a Dam
T.C.A. § 69-11-127 requires local governments that issue building permits to inform an applicant when the proposed construction or alteration is located downstream of a dam and would be affected by failure of the dam. The Department of Environment and Conservation must provide each county mayor with an inventory of dams in the county, and the county mayor must provide it to municipalities that issue building permits. The executive officer of the municipality must provide it to the building official.