The Model Disclosure What?

That’s what a lot of Washington contractors say when they give my law office a call and ask whether they have lien rights. Sadly, most contractors (especially the smaller outfits) have no idea that they’re required to provide this on each and every project before work begins.

What happens if it’s not provided? Unfortunately, quite a lot.

First, if the Model Disclosure Statement is required, you can lose your lien rights. Second, you can be fined by the Department of Labor and Industries. And for a third thought, what about possibly being exposed to a civil consumer protection act claim, or something like that?

This may seem harsh, but I’m here to tell you that it’s quite difficult to wiggle away from this requirement. If you are a contractor of any shape and size (even a handyman), and you’re working on a residential project worth more than $1k or a commercial project worth less than $60k, the Model Disclosure Statement must be provided, it must be signed by the owner, and you must retain a record of the signed statement for two years!

Getting a copy of a Model Disclosure Statement is not tricky. You can download it for free here. Filling it out is a cinch.

If you’re in Washington state, use it—or risk your lien rights.