Q.How does someone place a mechanic's lien on a property?
A.First, the contractor, subcontractor or supplier must furnish the property owner with a written Preliminary 20-Day Notice within 20 days after first furnishing services or materials to the property. If the 20 day notice is not given, no claim of lien can be recorded. If the contractor, subcontractor(s), or supplier(s) go unpaid they can then file a Claim of Lien.
A claim of lien is a written statement, signed and verified by the lien claimant or his agent. The claim or lien must contain the following:
- A statement of the amount of money the claimant is demanding (after deducting credits and offsets);
- Name of the property owner, if known;
- A general statement of the kind of labor, services equipment or materials furnished to the property;
- Name of the person who employed the claimant or to whom he furnished labor, services, equipment or materials; and
- A description of the site for identification purposes.
The time frame during which a Claim of Lien can be filed differs depending on whether the property owner records a notice of completion and whether the claimant is the original contractor or someone else who furnished labor, materials, or equipment to the property. If the property owner fails to record a notice of completion, both the original contractor and all f the subcontractor(s) have 90 days after work is completed to record a claim of lien. If the property owner records a notice of completion within 10 days after the work is complete, then the original contractor has 60 days and the subcontractors and suppliers have 30 days to record a claim of lien.