When to File a Construction Lien?

Because you “can” do something does not always mean you “should” do it. This statement too often applies when a contractor wants to file a construction lien. Many times I am contacted by contractors that are adamant they want to file a lien against a property. Naturally, and understandably, they are upset because they have not been paid for the work their company has performed. But, then we start to run down the list of requirements a contractor must meet before they can record a construction lien.

As you can imagine, contractors get upset when they realize their company has not met the procedural requirements that would allow them to file a construction lien. The following is only a partial list of things to review:

· Has it been more than 90 days after performing the work (not including warranty work)?

· Is it residential or commercial property?

· Are you and your business licensed?

· Do you have a written contract?

· If it is a residential property, then does your written contract contain the special language required by the construction lien act to even qualify to file a lien?

· Do you have the right legal description?

· Have you provided lien waivers and/or sworn statements to verify the amount currently owed?

Again, this is only an overview of what you should be considering before filing a construction lien. If you find yourself in a position where you think you want to file a construction lien, then it is advisable to contact an attorney to assist you.

Zacharia S. Bonham is a partner at Daudi & Kroll, P.C., focusing primarily on Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, and Immigration Law. He can be contacted for any questions related to this article or other areas of law at zac@daudikroll.com or (517) 381-2663