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Mechanic’s Liens: Because You Want To Be Paid For Your Work

For those working on a construction project, a mechanic’s lien is an important construction law tool to ensure you are paid for your labor and materials. The mechanic’s lien is a legal filing that places the property owner and other interested parties on notice that a security interest or claim has been filed, in the case of a private job, against their property or, in the case of a public project, against the public funds identified to the public project.

This is significant for a number of reasons. It attaches to the land and is recorded in the county recorder’s office. A lien requires the owner satisfy the debt before the property can be sold and the lien can be released, and may allow you to foreclose on the property to pay the debt.

On a complex development project, it also means that the contracts between property owners, contractors and subcontractors could be breached, as they may include provisions that demand the property be kept free of liens.

This can lead to other project issues such as involving the financing and the bank’s security interest, and other difficulties such as default and potentially, litigation, as parties move to protect their individual interest.

The Mechanics Of A Mechanic’s Lien

In New York, a mechanic’s lien on a private commercial project may be filed at any time during your work at the project or within eight months after your company last furnished labor or materials. On a residential project the lien must be filed within four months of your last date of work. On a public project, your lien may be filed at any time during your work or within thirty days of project closeout and acceptance by the public owner. The relevant statutes provide a list of who must receive notice. Both public and private liens are valid for one year, unless extended or released.

These requirements are technical and must be met to create a valid lien. Failure to properly notice the required parties can result in the cancellation of the lien. Carré, PLLC Attorneys at Law is experienced with handling all manner of actions necessary for the creation and enforcement of a lien. Working with an attorney can prevent mistakes or errors from preventing your lien from being effective.

Contact Our Westchester County Office For Assistance

To speak with a lawyer for assistance with filing mechanic’s liens, contact the firm’s White Plains’ office at 914-304-4266 or 888-460-8657. Consultations may also be arranged by using the firm’s online form.