At some point, any construction worker may find himself unpaid with a job done for a property. For that you got to file a mechanic’s lien. You can know your rights if a property owner owes something to you in this link here. If you are one of them, you may be tired of calling the owners to know what’s really going on and whether you should still expect the money that you have worked hard for.
If this is your situation, then a mechanic’s lien is what you need. In Texas, a lien is a standard tool used by contractors to ensure that they are paid for private construction jobs. The property’s title is attached to the contract, and most homeowners consider this as a headache.
A lien may vary from each state, and there are usually three major participants. These are the contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers of the materials. Generally, if a worker has made a significant improvement on a property, he can legally file a lien.
In many states, they will require you to send notices, and they are the preliminary and the notice of intent to lien.
Many states may require you to deliver a preliminary notice to the owners of a building or a residential home before you begin to work. You won’t need to send a pre-lien notice in Texas, especially if you are a general contractor.
The day when to send the notice can be complicated. If you have to send one and you didn’t, you may have lost your right to claim. You need to know about a mechanic’s lien in TX because the notice should be sent on the 15th day of the third calendar month, starting when the materials were delivered or work was performed. The notices should be sent in the form of a certified mail, and it should contain specific information about the job.
Notice of an Intent to Lien
For many states, they don’t require this notice at all. It’s easier for the suppliers and contractors to work on the first notice. If the state requires you to send an intent, you need to comply with it. The deadline won’t wait for you, so do it in the soonest time possible.
For many contractors, they file a mechanic’s lien claim only if the payment is overdue. When the “send a notice of intent to lien” is over, you must know when to file your claim. With this said, experts will explain how the filing works, what to include in the notices, and your rights as a worker.
The deadline is usually on the last day of the materials’ delivery or if this is the last time that labor will be performed on a property. Look out for the completion of the project, as this is usually directly tied to the deadlines. You won’t have the holidays or the weekends to file, so do this as soon as possible.
Drafting the Lien
If you know that you have the right to file, you need to fill up the claim documents. This is a complicated work than just filling in the blanks on the form. The laws can be quirky at some point, and they won’t accept missing information. You need to be detailed as much as possible, and you should be careful that you are filling the right document.
Tricky Parts to Keep in Mind When Filing
When filing a claim, this usually means that you wanted compensation. Most states require you to be very specific and identify every cent and dollar due to you. This is called the claim amount. Everything is straightforward at first glance, but you can be faced with tricky questions on why you have come up with this amount of money.
Knowing whether you should include filing fees, costs, and attorney’s prices can help you. There’s also retainage that is a portion of the overall contract price deliberately withheld until the work is done. What if the customer does not disagree with the amount due? The answer to this is that you can lien for the price that is due to you for the materials and the work done despite getting more when you charge per contract.
- Name of the Claimant
The name of the claimant is YOU! This is the easiest part of the form, and you may want to know whether you are allowed to put your trade name on paper. There were cases once where the property owners won because the claimant has misspelled his name or misidentified themselves. What you can do to avoid confusion is to use your legal name, and that’s it.
- Description of the Property
What you need is a description of the property that points out to the one where you got the job done. Be as detailed as possible, and this includes the address. Even if most of the state rules are unclear about this part, you still need to use the safest practice and the most common requirement, and this is the legal property description so that you can file a mechanic’s lien. Further reading can be done in this link here: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mechanics-lien.asp
The property should be sufficient enough so that the state can identify it. The best place to start is the deed, a legal document that you can find on your county assessor’s website. You can get the information that you need on pages like parcel information. You can also request information from a general contractor and even from the owner themselves if required.