Joshua M. Link
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Construction Impacted by Coronavirus? Know Your Lien Rights

March 31, 2020Insight

The current coronavirus crisis has created unprecedented challenges for those in the construction industry. While many states have exempted construction activities from their shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, projects have nonetheless been impacted and cash flow from owners or contractors may slow or halt.

As a result, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers must be vigilant to protect their ability to receive payment on projects where cash flow might become problematic.  One such way to ensure payment is by availing oneself of the various states’ mechanics’ lien laws. Mechanics’ lien laws vary from state to state but often have rigid requirements. Subtle differences in notice, service, and filing requirements can make or break one’s ability to preserve their lien rights.

Dinsmore’s construction law practice group is prepared to navigate industry members through these turbulent times. Our group members’ practices span the United States, and we have an intricate understanding of the mechanics’ lien laws in a variety of jurisdictions. We can help you preserve your lien rights and ultimately collect payment when you have not been fully compensated for labor or materials supplied on a project.

Below you’ll find the pertinent information for individual states mechanics’ liens laws and the contact information for a Dinsmore lawyer experienced in preparing mechanics’ liens in those states.

   


COLORADO

Contact: Andrew ClausEmail

Who Can File a Lien?      

“Every person who furnishes or supplies laborers, machinery, tools, or equipment in the prosecution of the work, and mechanics, materialmen, contractors, subcontractors, builders, and all persons of every class performing labor upon or furnishing directly to the owner or persons furnishing labor, laborers, or materials to be used in construction, alteration, improvement, addition to, or repair, either in whole or in part…” C.R.S. § 38-22-101(1).

Pre-Lien Notice?              

Required. Anyone wishing to preserve a lien must serve a written Notice of Intent to File a Lien Statement. C.R.S. § 38-22-109(3).

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?   

The Notice of intent to lien must be served “upon the owner or reputed owner of the property or the owner's agent and the principal or prime contractor or his or her agent.” C.R.S. § 38-22-109(3).

Pre-Lien Notice: Time to Serve  

Notice must be given at least 10 days before the time of filing the lien statement with the county clerk and recorder. C.R.S. § 38-22-109(3).

Time to File Lien              

  • Lien statements for labor and work by the day or piece, but without furnishing laborers or materials:
    • After the last labor for which the lien claimed has been performed but before the expiration of two months after the completion of the building, structure, or other improvement. C.R.S. § 38-22-109(4).
  • All other lien claimants
    • Within four months after the day on which the last labor is performed or the last laborers or materials are furnished. C.R.S. § 38-22-109(5).

Period can be extended by filing a notice of lien identifying the property by legal description, address, or other means; the name of the person with whom the claimant has contracted; and the claimant’s name, address and telephone number. Filing of the notice extends the deadline to file a lien statement until four months after the completion of the structure or other improvement or six months after the date of filing the notice, whichever occurs first. C.R.S. § 38-22-109(10).

Information Required To File Lien            

A lien statement must include:

  1. Name of the owner or reputed owner of the property (if the name is not known to the claimant, it must include a statement stating such);
  2. Names of the persons claiming the lien, who furnished laborers or materials or performed labor for which the lien is claimed, and the contractor when the lien is claimed by a subcontractor;
  3. A description of the property to be charged with lien in sufficient detail to identify the property; and
  4. A statement of the amount due or owing to the claimant.

The lien statement must be signed and sworn to by the claimant.

C.R.S. § 38-22-109(1).

When Must Lien Be Served?      

The lien statement must be served with the written Notice of Intent to File a Lien Statement at least 10 days before filing the lien statement with the county clerk and recorder. C.R.S. § 38-22-109(3).

To Whom Must Lien be Served?

Lien statement must be served “upon the owner or reputed owner of the property or the owner's agent and the principal or prime contractor or his or her agent.” C.R.S. § 38-22-109(3).

Comments

  • A lien claimant must file suit within six months after the last work or labor is performed, or laborers or materials are furnished, or after completion of the project. The claimant must also file with the county clerk and recorder a notice stating an action has been commenced. C.R.S. § 38-22-110.
  • A construction defect claim does not prevent the filing of any lien statement or postpone the time within a lien statement should be filed. Colorado considers abandonment of “all labor, work, services, and furnishing of laborers or materials under any unfinished contract” to be “equivalent to a completion thereof” for the purposes of filing a lien. C.R.S. § 38-22-109(7). For more information about construction defect claims and the potential pitfalls or defenses on such claims in Colorado, see the Colorado Construction Defect Action Reform Act (CDARA), C.R.S. § 13-20-801 et seq., or contact an attorney in the Denver office of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.

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FLORIDA

Contact: Jason LambertEmail

Who Can File a Lien?      

Contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractor, material suppliers, architects, landscape architects, interior designers, surveyors, mappers, or civil site contractors.

Pre-Lien Notice?              

  • Contractors: N/A.
  • Subcontractors: Yes (713.06)

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?   

  • Contractors: N/A
  • Subcontractors: The property owner and any other parties listed on the notice of commencement.

Pre-Lien Notice: Time to Serve  

  • Contractors: N/A.
  • Subcontractors: Within 45 days of first furnishing labor, materials, or services to the project site,. unless you are making specially manufactured goods (goods that cannot be used for another project). In that case, it is 45 days from when manufacturing begins.

Time to File Lien

  • Contractors and Subcontractors: Within 90 days of final furnishing of labor, materials, or services at the property. Generally punch out work or warranty work does not count to extend the final furnishing date.

Information Required To File Lien            

All information required by the statutory form, including dates of first and last furnishing, dates of service of the notice to owner (if applicable) total contract amount and amount due, property description, and property owner’s information.

When Must Lien Be Served?

  • Contractors and subcontractors: Lien must be served no later than 15 days following recording.

To Whom Must Lien be Served?

  • Contractors and subcontractors: Lien must be served on the property owner.

Comments         

Liens cannot be renewed.  You must file suit within 12 months of recording, otherwise the lien goes away.

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ILLINOIS

Contact: Michael Weber, Grace Cranley • Email

Who Can File a Lien?      

Any contractor, subcontractor, supplier, laborer, architect, engineer, or surveyor—of any tier—who provides an improvement to real property.  770 ILCS 60/1.

Pre-Lien Notice?              

General contractors and other parties with a contract with the owner: Not needed.

Subcontractors and suppliers: Yes. To preserve lien for work for an existing owner-occupied single family residence, must give notice personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested. 770 ILCS 60/21(c); 770 ILCS 60/24(a).

For work on other projects, must be provided within 90 days after completion of work or delivery of material. 770 ILCS 60/24(a).

If any money due is not paid within 10 days after notice is served under §§ 5, 24, and 25, then claimant may file a claim for lien or file a complaint. 770 ILCS 60/28.

Laborers: Yes. To preserve lien for work for an existing owner-occupied single family residence, must give notice personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested. 770 ILCS 60/21(c); 770 ILCS 60/24(a).

For work on other projects, must be provided within 90 days after completion of work. 770 ILCS 60/24(a).

If any money due is not paid within 10 days after notice is served under §§ 5, 24, and 25, then claimant may file a claim for lien or file a complaint. 770 ILCS 60/28.

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?   

General contractors and other parties with a contract with the owner: Not needed.

Subcontractors and suppliers: For work for an existing owner-occupied single family residence, must be provided to the occupant or his agent, if any, within 60 days after providing the first labor or material.  770 ILCS 60/21(c).

For work on other projects, must be provided to owner of record or his agent or architect, or the superintendent having charge of the building or improvement and to the lending agency, if known. 770 ILCS 60/24(a).

Laborers: For work for an existing owner-occupied single family residence, must be provided to the occupant or his agent, if any, within sixty (60) days after providing the first labor or material.  770 ILCS 60/21(c).

For work on other projects, must be provided to owner of record or his agent or architect, or the superintendent having charge of the building or improvement and to the lending agency, if known. 770 ILCS 60/24(a).

Pre-Lien Notice: Information Required  

The requirements for notice for work on existing owner-occupied single family residences are set forth in 770 ILCS 60/21

The requirements for notice for work on other projects are set forth in 770 ILCS 60/24

Time to File Lien              

On private projects: to enforce a lien to the prejudice of any other creditor, incumbrance, or purchaser, claimant must either file suit to enforce a lien or record the claim for lien within four months of the last day of work or provision of materials.  770 ILCS 60/7. 

On public projects, a claimant can place a lien on those portions of the funds for the project that are held by or on behalf of the public entity at the time of the notice. 770 ILCS 60/23.

Information Required To File Lien            

On private projects:

1. Property address and legal description.

2. Name and address of lien claimant and property owner.

3. Contract amount, including extras, less payments made.

4. First and last days of providing work or material.

5. Hourly rate, including fringe benefits and withholdings (laborers only).

6. Proof of Service of Notice of Furnishing, if required (see above).

7. Must be notarized.

770 ILCS 60/7. 

On public projects;

1. Identify the claimant’s contract

2. Describe the work done by the claimant

3. State the total amount due and unpaid as of the date of the notice

4. Must be sworn and notarized.

770 ILCS 60/23.

To Whom Must Lien be Served?

A contractor for improvements of an owner-occupied single-family residence must give the owner written notice within 10 days after recording a lien against any property of the owner. 770 ILCS 60/7(d)

On public projects, a claimant must notify the clerk or secretary, as the case may be, of the public entity by written notice of the claim for lien as well as the contractor. 770 ILCS 60/23

Comments         

Critical: On a private project, the lien claimant must file suit to foreclose on the lien within two years after completion of the contract.  770 ILCS 60/9

On a public project, the lien claimant must commence proceedings within 90 days after service a notice of lien. 770 ILCS 60/23(4)

Claims for wages as laborers under 770 ILCS 60/21 and 770 ILCS 60/22 are preferred liens

Upon written demand of the owner, lienor, or any person interested in the real estate, or their agent or attorney, served on the person claiming the lien, requiring suit to be commenced to enforce the lien suit shall be commenced within 30 days or the lien shall be forfeited. 770 ILCS 60/34.

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KENTUCKY

Contact: Mark BissingerEmail

Who Can File a Lien?      

Contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment lessors, and licensed design professionals (architects, engineers, real estate brokers, land surveyors) who contracted directly with the owner. (KRS § § 376.010, 376.075)

Note: lien, in the aggregate, cannot exceed the contract price of the original contractor. (KRS § 376.010(1))

Pre-Lien Notice?              

  • Contractors:  N/A
  • Subcontractors: prior written notice required. (KRS § 376.010(3))
  • Subcontractors on an owner-occupied single or double family dwelling: Prior written notice required. (KRS § 376.010(4))

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?   

  • Contractors: N/A
  • All subcontractors: Owner. (KRS § § 376.010(3), (4))

Pre-Lien Notice: Time to Serve  

  • Contractors: N/A
  • Subcontractors: Within 75 days of furnishing the last material or labor for claims less than $1,000 or within 120 days of furnishing the last material or labor for claims exceeding $1,000. (KRS § 376.010(3))
  • Subcontractors on an owner-occupied single or double family dwelling: Within 75 days of furnishing the last material or labor. (KRS § 376.010(4))

Time to File Lien              

  • Contractors and subcontractors: Within six months of ceasing to furnish labor or materials. (KRS § 376.080(1))

Information Required To File Lien            

  • “Statement of Lien”
  1.  Name and address of the claimant ( if claimant is a corporation, the name and address of its process agent);
  2. Statement of amount due, with all credits and setoffs;
  3. Description of property sufficiently accurate to identify it;
  4. Name of owner, if known; and
  5. Whether the labor was performed/ materials were furnished by contract with the owner or with a contractor or subcontractor. (KRS § 376.080(1))

When Must Lien Be Served?      

  • Contractors and subcontractors: Within seven days of filing the statement of lien in the County Clerk’s Office. (KRS § 376.080(1))

To Whom Must Lien be Served?

  • Contractors and subcontractors: Owner (regular mail to owner’s last known address). (KRS § 376.080(1))

Comments         

To preserve the lien, contractor or subcontractor must file suit within 12 months of filing the statement of lien. (KRS § 376.090(1)).

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MICHIGAN

Contact: R. J. CronkhiteEmail

Who Can File a Lien?      

Any contractor, subcontractor, supplier, laborer, architect, engineer, or surveyor—of any tier—who provides an improvement to real property.  MCL 570.1107.

Pre-Lien Notice?              

General contractors and other parties with a contract with the owner: Not needed.

Subcontractors and suppliers: Yes.  MCL 570.1109(1).

Laborers: Yes. MCL 570.1109(2).

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?   

General contractors and other parties with a contract with the owner: Not needed.

Subcontractors and suppliers: Must be provided to the owner and general contractor, if any, within 20 days after providing the first labor or material.  MCL 570.1109(1).

Laborers: Must be provided to the property owner and general contractor, if any, within 30 days after providing the first labor or material.  MCL 570.1109(2).

Pre-Lien Notice: Information Required  

The requirements are set forth in statute MCL 570.1109(4).  See the attached form.

Time to File Lien              

Within 90 days of the last day of work or provision of materials.  MCL 570.1111.  The lien must be recorded in the office of the register of deeds for each county where the real property to which the improvement was made is located.  MCL 570.1111(1).

Information Required To File Lien            

  1. Property address and legal description.
  2. Name and address of lien claimant and property owner.
  3. Contract amount, including extras, less payments made.
  4. First and last days of providing work or material.
  5. Hourly rate, including fringe benefits and withholdings (laborers only).
  6. Proof of Service of Notice of Furnishing, if required (see above).
  7. Must be notarized.

A recommended lien form is set forth in MCL 570.1111(2). 

To Whom Must Lien be Served?

Property owner or the owner’s designee by personal or certified mail, within 15 days of recording the lien. MCL 570.1111(5).

Comments         

Critical: The lien claimant must file suit to foreclose on the lien within one  year after the lien was recorded or the lien is forever lost.  MCL 570.1117. 

Further, general contractors and other parties contracting directly with the property owner cannot foreclose on a lien without first having provided a Sworn Statement to the property owner.  MCL 570.1113(1).

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NEW JERSEY

Contact: Joshua LinkEmail

Who Can File a Lien?      

Any contractor, subcontractor or supplier who provides work, services, material or equipment pursuant to a contract, shall be entitled to a lien for the value of the work or services performed, or materials or equipment furnished in accordance with the contract and based upon the contract price. 

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-3)

Pre-Lien Notice?              

Commercial:  Not required.  However, claimant’s wishing to gain priority may provide a Notice of Unpaid Balance.  If this notice is given, claimant’s lien will relate back and attach to owner’s interest as of the date the notice was served.    

Residential:  Yes.  All claimants must provide Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien. 

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-20; N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-21)

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?   

Commercial:  If provided, to the clerk of the county in which the property is located. Notice of Unpaid Balance may also be given to the owner or other interested parties, but is not required.

Residential:  Notice of Unpaid Balance must be provided to: 

  • Clerk of the county in which the property is located;
  • Owner;
  • Contractor (if applicable);
  • Subcontractor (if applicable); and
  • American Arbitration Association, unless the parties have otherwise agreed, in writing, to an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-20; N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-21)

Pre-Lien Notice: Time to Serve  

Commercial:  If provided, notice must be provided before the lien claim is filed (i.e. 90 days following the date the last work, services, material or equipment was provided for which payment is claimed).

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-6; N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-20)

Residential: 

  1. Claimant shall first file a Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien by lodging for record the Notice within 60 days following the last date that work, services, material or equipment were provided for which payment is claimed.
  2. Once it is lodged for record (i.e. filed with the clerk of the county in which the property is located), it must be served upon all other recipients within 10 days.
  3. Unless the parties have otherwise agreed in writing to an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, within 10 days from the date the Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien is lodged for record, the lien claimant must also serve a demand for arbitration and fulfill all the requirements and procedures of the American Arbitration Association to institute an expedited proceeding before a single arbitrator.
  4. Upon determination by the arbitrator that there is an amount which, pursuant to a valid lien shall attach to the improvement, the lien claimant shall, lodge for record the lien claim within 10 days of the claimant’s receipt of the determination.

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-21)

Time to File Lien

Commercial:  Within 90 days following the date the last work, services, material or equipment was provided for which payment is claimed.

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-6)

Residential:  Within 10 days of receiving from the arbitrator a copy of the determination supporting the lien, and not later than 120 days following the last date that work, services, material or equipment was provided for which payment is claimed. 

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-6; N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-20; N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-21)

Information Required To File Lien            

“Lien Claim Form” must be filed in the manner and form provided by N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-8.  The Lien Claim Form requires the following:

  • Claimant’s information;
  • Description of property;
  • Name of the person or entity against which the lien is claimed.
  • Description of the written contract, including original contract amount and value of all amendments/change orders;
  • The date of the provision of the last work, services, material or equipment for which payment is claimed; and
  • The amount due for work all work, services, material, or equipment delivery provided by claimant in connection with the improvement of the real property.

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-8)

When Must Lien Be Served?      

Within 10 days following the lodging for record of a lien claim.

However, the service of the lien claim outside the prescribed time period shall not preclude enforceability unless the party not timely served proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the late service has materially prejudiced its position.

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-7)

To Whom Must Lien be Served?

Claimant shall serve the completed and signed lien claim on the owner, or community association, and, if any, the contractor and subcontractor against whom the claim is asserted.

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-7)

Comments         

The copy of the lien served by claimant must be marked “received for filing” or have a similar stamp with a date and time or other mark indicating the date and time received by the county clerk.  

Service can be effected by personal service as prescribed by the New Jersey Rules or by:  (1) simultaneous registered or certified mail or commercial courier whose regular business is delivery service; and (2) ordinary mail addressed to the last known business or residence address of the owner or community association, contractor or subcontractor. A lien claim served upon a community association need not be served upon individual “unit owners.”

Note that service of the Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien is also effected in accordance with the foregoing. 

(N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-7; N.J. Stat. § 2A:44A-21)

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OHIO

Contact: Andrew KwiatkowskiEmail

Who Can File a Lien?     

Every person who performs work or labor in furtherance of any improvement by virtue of a contract with the owner, part owner, or lessee and every subcontractor, laborer, or materials suppler who furnishes material to an original contractor or subcontractor. (R.C. § 1311.02)

Pre-Lien Notice?             

  • Contractors: N/A
  • Subcontractors or material suppliers: If a Notice of Commencement has been recorded for the project, a Notice of Furnishing is required to be served within 21 days after performing the first labor or work or furnishing the first materials on the project.

(R.C. § 1311.05(A))

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?  

  • Contractors:  N/A
  • Subcontractors and material suppliers: Owner or lessee and original contractor (unless subcontractor and material supplier are in privity with original contractor, then notice to original contractor not required).

(R.C. § 1311.05(A))

Pre-Lien Notice: Time to Serve 

  • Contractors:  N/A
  • Subcontractors and material suppliers:  Served within 21 days after performing the first labor or work or furnishing the first materials on the project.

(R.C. § 1311.05(A))

Time to File Lien

  • For one- or two-family dwelling or condominium unit: Within 60 days from the date on which the last labor or work was performed or material furnished.
  • For commercial properties: Within 75 days from the date on which the last labor or work was performed or material furnished.

(R.C. § 1311.06)

Information Required To File Lien           

  • “Affidavit of Lien”
    1. Description of the property;
    2. Name and address of the person for whom the labor or work was furnished\Statement of amount due, with all credits and setoffs;
    3. Name and address of owner or lessee; and
    4. First and last dates of work.

(R.C. § 1311.06)

When Must Lien Be Served?      

For all lien claimants, the lien must be served by certified mail within 30 days after filing the affidavit. If certified mail service cannot be completed, then service must be completed by posting the lien in some conspicuous place on the premises within 10 days after the expiration of the 30 days. (R.C. § 1311.07)

To Whom Must Lien be Served?              

All lien claimants must serve the lien upon the owner or lessee (or his designee). (R.C. § 1311.07).

Comments         

Liens filed continue in force for six years unless released, invalidated, or an action is brought to enforce at some time earlier. (R.C. § 1311.13(C)).

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PENNSYLVANIA

Contact: Jeff StackoEmail

Who Can File a Lien?     

Contractors and subcontractors.  Claim must exceed $500.  Subcontractors’ rights to lien on residential property are more limited. (49 P.S. §§ 1301, 1303, 1201(5)).

Pre-Lien Notice?

  • Contractors: N/A.
  • Subcontractors: prior written notice required (formal notice).  (49 P.S. § 1501).  If a Notice of Commencement is filed in the state directory, claimants other than contractors must file a Notice of Furnishing within 45 days of beginning work. (49 P.S. §§ 1501.1, 1501.3).

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?  

  • Contractors: N/A
  • Subcontractors: Owner. (49 P.S. § 1501).

Pre-Lien Notice: Time to Serve 

  • Contractors: N/A.
  • Subcontractors: 30 days before filing lien (49 P.S. § 1501(B.1)).
  • Contents of Notice:
    1. Name of the claimant;
    2. Name of the person with whom the claimant contracted;
    3. Amount claimed to be due;
    4. General nature and character of the labor or materials furnished;
    5. Date of completion of the work claimed; and
    6. Description sufficient to identify the property.  (49 P.S. § 1501).

Time to File Lien

  • Contractors and Subcontractors: Within six months after completion of the work with the prothonotary of the county where the improvement is located. (49 P.S. § 1502(a)).

Information Required To File Lien           

“Claim” including:

  1. Name of claimant and whether claimant is a contractor or subcontractor;
  2. Name and address of the owner;
  3. Date of completion of claimant’s work;
  4. If claimant is a sub, the name of the person with whom he contracted, & the dates on which preliminary notice and formal notice were given;
  5. If a claimant is a contractor under a contract for an agreed sum, an identification of the contract and a general statement of the labor or materials furnished;
  6. A detailed statement of the kind and character of the labor or materials furnished and the prices charged;
  7. The amount claimed to be due; and
  8. A description of the improvement. 

(49 P.S. § 1503).

When Must Lien Be Served?      

  • Contractors and subcontractors: Within one month of filing claim.  (49 P.S. § 1502(a)(2)).

To Whom Must Lien be Served?              

  • Contractors and subcontractors: Owner (personal service required; if personal service not feasible, notice must be posted on the site). (49 P.S. § 1502(a)(2)).

Note: An affidavit of service must be filed within 20 days of accomplishing service. (49 P.S. § 1502(a)(2)).

Comments         

Statute distinguishes between residential and commercial projects but only with regards to waiver.

To preserve the lien, contractor or subcontractor must file suit within two years of filing the lien. (49 P.S. § 1701(b)).

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WEST VIRGINIA

Contact: Jacob ManningEmail

Who Can File a Lien?     

Contractor (who erects, builds, constructs, alters, removes or repairs any building or other structure, or other improvement appurtenant to any such building or other structure, or who alters or improves the real property whereon the same stands), or subcontractor, materialman (furnishing materials, equipment, or other supplies to contractor, subcontractor, or owner), workman, artisan, mechanic, laborer or other person who performs any work or labor or provides services (to contractor, subcontractor, or owner), or architect, surveyor, engineer, or landscape architect.

Pre-Lien Notice?             

None required. However, before beginning work or furnishing any material, a subcontractor, material supplier, mechanic, or laborer may provide a preliminary notice to the owner that if he is not paid by the person employing him, he will look to the owner for payment. If a preliminary notice is provided, the person providing it need not serve notice on the owner after completion, as described below.

Pre-Lien Notice: To Whom Must It Be Served?  

None required. If a preliminary notice is provided by a subcontractor, material supplier, mechanic, or laborer, it must be provided to the owner.

Pre-Lien Notice: Time to Serve 

None required. If a preliminary notice is provided, it must be provided before beginning work or supplying material.

Time to File Lien

  • Within 100 days of completion of the work or last furnishing supplies, a Notice of Mechanic's Lien must be recorded in the county where the owner's real estate is located. 
  • If a laborer, worker, or other person is working for a corporation, notice must be recorded in 90 days to attach to all of corporation's real and personal property.

Information Required To File Lien           

  • Owner’s name and legal description of real property, along with a description of buildings on the real property to be charged.
  • Total sum due.
  • If not a general contractor, the name of the general contractor to whom work or materials were supplied.
  • Signed by an individual with capacity to sign, and notarized.
  • A subcontractor, material supplier, mechanic, or laborer providing services to a contractor or subcontractor need not included an itemized account in the recorded notice, but the notice provided to the owner must include one.

When Must Lien Be Served?      

  • If contracted directly with the owner, only recording is necessary.
  • If services are provided to a contractor or subcontractor, within 100 days of completion of the work or last furnishing supplies, both record a Notice of Mechanic's Lien in the county where the owner's real estate is located and serve a copy on owner (first class mail).

To Whom Must Lien be Served?              

  • If the owner is not a resident of West Virginia or cannot be found, within 100 days of completion of work or furnishing supplies, post a notice conspicuously on site, and in a Class II legal advertisement in a newspaper, the publication area of which includes the owner's property. A Class II legal advertisement requires publication once per week for two consecutive weeks; it is sufficient if the first publication occurs within 100 days of completion of work or furnishing supplies. Costs of publication may be included in the amount mentioned in the recorded notice.

Comments         

  • If the owner demands that a subcontractor, laborer, mechanic, workman, or material supplier provide an itemized account of the work done or materials supplied, within 10 days, the requested person must provide an itemized account including:
    1. Dates on which work was done or material supplied;
    2. Prices charged for work done or material supplied; and
    3. The Nature of the work done or material supplied.
  • Any law suit necessary to enforce a lien must be commenced within six months of filing the notice. Any lien holder who does not commence suit but who has a perfected lien may intervene in the suit.
  • If an owner records the contract with the general contractor in the county where the property is located before work is commenced and requires the general contractor to secure a bond equal to the contract price, the owner's liability is limited to the contract price and no lien against the owner's property will be valid beyond the contract price. 

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