Hurricane Irene in the Northeast, Tropical Storm Lee in the Gulf South…the meteorologist are working around the clock, insurance adjusters are on the move, and its quite clear that we’re at the peak of the 2011 hurricane season. While it’s never good to hear about folks losing their homes and damages to our infrastructure, there is a silver lining for the construction industry. With construction spending down again this past month, the new work is much needed.
It’s common for suppliers and construction professionals to “chase” these storms, and set up shop in new territories to make grabs at the available business. In fact, there are some organizations that focus on disaster recovery and repair. However, while there are state, federal and insurance dollars available to pay for this work, do not underestimate human greed and payment delays. You may find yourself doing work and not getting paid, and being in a foreign jurisdiction uncertain about lien laws and how to proceed with a legal dispute.
You may be from a state where notice is not required and now working in a state where there are strict notice requirements (see our map of preliminary notice requirements). You may have a lot less time than you think to file your lien.
Take the time to learn the lien laws for the state where you’re performing work. We have all 50-state’s lien laws indexed and summarized on the levelset website, and available for you to peruse for free. Plus, consider subscribing to our LienPilot, which will help you manage all of your new projects and the notice or lien requirements for those projects. With our LienPilot, you simply type in your project information and our system automatically calculates the preliminary notice required for the project, as well as the deadlines for delivering notices and filing liens. When it’s time to file a mechanics lien or preliminary notice, you can do it with just a click of the button.
You’ll be plenty busy with all the extra work in these storm locations – don’t spend unnecessary office hours fumbling with lien and notice paperwork. But then again, don’t just ignore the lien and notice requirements, because you never know when you’re going to need these tools to protect your company against non-payment.