Concept of Mechanic’s Lien and how to Avoid Mechanic’s Lien
A Mechanic’s lien is a dispute against a property that leads to a legal claim. This comes about when suppliers and subcontractors fail to receive payment for changes they have made on a property. These changes are meant to improve the property. There is mostly a complexity when a subcontractor is not paid by the main contractor. They are bound to find a mechanic’s lien law and file a suit against the property owner. This could make the property owner pay for the services double and hence the need for the mechanic’s lien lawyers who help to smoothen the situation.
Mechanic’s lien may seem unfair but it operates on a base that the need to pay the supplier is greater than the needs of the property owner even when the payment is sometimes made due to the irresponsible behavior of the general contractor. After a mechanic’s lien, the property owner can sue the main contractor which only helps, in the long run, seeing that this kind of a suite takes time and it is also hard to get a repayment from someone who fails to pay the person they contracted.
To get a mechanic’s lien, the state law, in most cases require the supplier or the subcontractor to give notice of what was contributed to the homeowner within less than a month of contribution. In a case where the supplier or the subcontractor is not paid, they should file a claim of the mechanic’s lien. This is done in the county where the property is located. After that, the property owner usually has two to six months of working out a way forward with the supplier or contractor. Failure to follow this, there can be a lawsuit, which may be invalidated if it is not filed within the time frame provided, in most of the states.
To avoid a mechanic’s lien on your property, you need to do the following.
First, you need to get used to paying with joint checks where you will send them jointly to the main contractor and the supplier or the subcontractor as well. This helps in ensuring that the subcontractor is paid because the checks get to be cashed if they endorse them.
You can also avoid a mechanic’s lien by getting a waiver from the contractor when you are making the contract. With this provision, the property owner is relieved from the responsibility of paying anyone who needs to be paid by the contractor. In most states, the contractor is required to give a waiver for the work paid for prior to accepting further payments from the property owner. However, there can be no waiver until the payment has been made in most states.
Lastly, you can choose to directly pay the suppliers and subcontractors and then subtract that payment form the amount paid to the general contractor. The challenge that comes with this option is that you end up looking like you are the employer of the subcontracted party. This gives you extra responsibility like deducting taxes and social security, hence making it the least favorable option.