If you’re filling out a lien waiver in California, never fear. California’s lien waiver rules are clearly spelled out in the law, which makes understanding the form pretty simple. This is a step-by-step guide to completing California’s Unconditional Lien Waiver on Final Payment.
For those of you who have been confused or frustrated by lien waivers in the past, you can relax. California’s mechanics lien statute provides the exact language required on each type of lien waiver form, so you always know what you’re signing.
Want to fill out and exchange your lien waiver as quickly and painlessly as possible? Send one through Levelset’s easy-to-use platform.
Prefer to do it yourself? Download the California Unconditional Waiver & Release on Final Payment form, and keep reading. We’ll walk you through each part of the form.
How to fill out California’s Unconditional Lien Waiver for Final Payment form
The Unconditional Waiver and Release on Final Payment form is used when the claimant is required to execute a waiver in exchange for a final payment, and the claimant acknowledges that final payment has been received.
Get the form
Download the Unconditional Waiver and Release on Final Payment form, prepared by construction attorneys to meet the statutory requirements.
How to Fill Out this Form:
1. Name of Claimant
This is the name the party to be paid, and the party who will be signing the lien waiver document. Identify the name of this party correctly. This seem obvious, but incorrectly spelled company names and misidentifying the company – using Inc. when it should be LLC, etc., or referring to a DBA incorrectly – is extremely common. See: 3 Mistakes When Claimants Make When Identifying Themselves.
2. Name of Customer
This is the name of the party who hired the claimant, and usually, the name of the party who will actually be making the payment. It’s possible that the party making the payment is not the “name of customer.” For example, if a property owner (paying party) is making payment directly to a subcontractor (name of claimant). In this instance, the “name of the customer” would be the general contractor. This scenario is typical when the parties are paying with joint checks.
3. Job Location
This is the physical place where the work was performed or where the materials were incorporated into the project (i.e. not where the materials were shipped!). There are a lot of very strict requirements when identifying the job location in a mechanics lien claim, but the requirements here are much more relaxed. A physical address will suffice.
This field should identify the property owner(s). Again, while this is pretty straight-forward, nuances about ownership could cause confusion. Here are some suggestions in common complex ownership scenarios:
- Multiple Owners: List all of the owners
- Work done for a tenant: List the tenant and the property owner(s)
- Work managed by a construction manager: List the owners, not the mangers
- On Public Projects: List the government office that commissioned the work
- P3 Projects: Identify developers
Unlike the “progress payment” lien waivers in California, the final payment waivers like this one do not include certain exceptions by default. Progress payment waivers exclude retention or retainage from the waiver, as well as “extras for which the claimant has not received payment,” and “contract rights.”
In this final payment waiver, all of this stuff is waived as a default. Therefore, if you want to exclude absolutely anything, you need to put it in this section of the waiver.
The final waiver gives two areas for this:
- “This document does not affect any of the following:” This is the general catch-all. Put everything in the kitchen sink here.
- “Disputed claims for extras in the amount of:” Here you can put any other claims (in dollars) that you have that is not being waived.
6. Claimant’s Signature
This is the signature of the individual signing the document on behalf of the claimant. You can e-sign this, as we explored in “Can You Electronically Sign A Lien Waiver?“
7. Claimant’s Title
This field should list the job title or role of the individual signing the document.
8. Date of Signature
This is simply the calendar date that the document is signed.
You made it! Your California Unconditional Waiver and Release on Final Payment is complete.
It is important to understand the California lien waiver’s significance and be ready to utilize the tools and resources that are available to you. For more guidance with California lien waivers check out Levelset’s guide to the other 3 lien waiver forms in California:
- California’s Conditional Waiver (Progress Payment) Guide
- California’s Conditional Waiver (Final Payment) Guide
- California’s Unconditional Waiver (Progress Payment) Guide
Now go forth and waiver confidently!