Mechanic’s liens are an essential legal tool for contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and other parties involved in construction projects. In Texas, mechanic’s liens are governed by specific rules and regulations that are important to understand in order to protect your rights and ensure you get paid for the work you have done.
It is important to note that in Texas, mechanic’s liens are available to anyone who provides labor, materials, or services to improve real property. This includes not only contractors and subcontractors but also suppliers of various materials and equipment used in construction projects.
Filing a Valid Mechanic’s Lien in Texas
To file a valid mechanic’s lien in Texas, certain requirements must be met. These requirements include:
- Timely Filing: A mechanic’s lien must be filed within the appropriate time frame. For general contractors on non-residential projects, this means filing the lien claim by the 15th day of the fourth month after completing the project. For subcontractors and suppliers, the deadline is the 15th day of the fourth month after the month they last furnished labor or materials to the project.
- Notice requirements: Prior to filing a lien, subcontractors, and suppliers are required to send a Preliminary Notice to the property owner and the general contractor. Failure to provide this notice can result in the invalidation of the lien.
- Identification of the property: The lien must contain a proper description of the property being improved so that it can be easily identified. This includes the legal description of the property as well as any other information that helps identify it.
- Proper documentation: The lien must be supported by proper documentation, such as invoices, receipts, and other records that show the work performed or materials supplied.
How to Get a Mechanic’s Lien
It is important to note that while mechanic’s liens provide a powerful tool for securing payment, they can also be complicated and time-consuming to navigate. Because the process is complicated, it is crucial to enlist the services of an experienced construction lawyer who specializes in mechanic’s liens.
A construction lawyer can help ensure you meet all the legal requirements for filing a lien, including proper timing, notice, and documentation. They can also assist in negotiating and resolving payment disputes, representing your interests in court if necessary.
Furthermore, a construction lawyer can provide guidance throughout the entire construction process, helping to draft and negotiate contracts, review payment terms, and advise on strategies for avoiding payment disputes in the first place.
In conclusion, mechanic’s liens are a valuable tool for protecting your right to payment in the construction industry. However, their successful utilization requires a thorough understanding of the specific rules governing their use. By hiring a construction lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and increase your chances of getting paid for your work.
Joe Tolbert is board certified in construction law and has represented businesses and individuals for over 30 years all across Texas. If you need help with a mechanic’s lien, contact Mr. Tolbert today at 817-338-1700.