Not many states provide a statutory form for lien waivers – but Georgia is one of those states! This might seem like just one more regulatory hurdle to clear, but this is actually good news for those submitting lien waivers on Georgia-based construction projects.
Since Georgia has a required form, any confusion over the waiver language can be avoided (confusion that might otherwise be present in states where there are no waiver requirements). In Georgia, it’s almost as simple as copy, paste and submit, though as with any legal document, you should read your lien waiver very closely before signing to be sure that you’re only waiving the rights you intend to.
With that being said, let’s take a closer look at one of the two lien waiver forms that is used in the state of Georgia, the Final Lien Waiver.
Guide To Georgia’s Final Lien Waiver — For the Final Payment
But hold on for just a second! Before we get into a breakdown of Georgia’s Final Waiver form, let’s make sure this is the right form for you!
This is the final waiver. This means that this waiver will be exchanged for the last payment on a project. If other future payments are expected (other than the one that will be exchanged for this waiver), an interim waiver for a progress payment might be the better move.
One last aside! You may be wondering – “Is this waiver conditional or unconditional?“ That is a GREAT question, and I hope you won’t be too mad at me when I tell you that the answer is, “Both.” We’ll cover that in greater detail at the end of this post. Now, on to the form!
Free Template Download Available: Georgia Interim Waiver for the Final Payment
Here’s How to Actually Fill Out the Georgia Final Waiver Form
> County of. I know, it sounds simple. But this should be the county where work was performed, not merely the location of any individual or business.
> Name of Contractor. Who hired the party that will submit this waiver? Who is their customer?
> Describe Materials and/or Labor. Give a brief description of the work that the party submitting this waiver performed.
> Title of the Project or Building. Does the project have a name or nickname? If not, does the building have a name? Regardless, even if there isn’t a clear-cut nickname for the project or the building, it’s important to help identify the property here.
> Name of Owner. Who owns the project property? It might not be as easy as it sounds! Finding an owner can be challenging work, and there are some ownership scenarios that can create confusion.
Here are some suggestions for common complex ownership scenarios:
- Multiple owners: List them all!
- Work done for tenant: List the tenant and the property owner(s)
- Work managed by a construction manager: List the property owners, not the construction managers
- Public Projects: List the government office that commissioned the work
- P3 Projects: Identify developers
> Describe the Property… Ok, you’ve got some options here. In Georgia, a lien waiver can use a specific metes and bounds description, the land lot district, block and lot number, or simply the street address of the project. As always, the more clear and specific a property description is, the better.
> Sum of $___. Did your eyes perk up after seeing that dollar sign? This part is crucial. This is the amount received/to be received in exchange for waiving all lien rights on the project. This figure should represent all amounts that are due to the party submitting the waiver.
> Given Under Hand and Seal. There’s a lot of confusion here in Georgia – but Georgia lien waivers don’t actually require notarization. Instead, they require it to be “given under hand and seal” and witnessed. It’s pretty old school, but might not necessarily cause a lot of problems. For corporations, in order to strictly comply, a corporate party would be required to include the “seal” of the business along with signatures on the document.
> Notice. There’s a very important notice on the bottom of Georgia lien waivers. Take a look at the next section…
Conditional vs. Unconditional — Which Is It?!
Take a look at the notice language at the bottom of a Georgia lien waiver:
“NOTICE: WHEN YOU EXECUTE AND SUBMIT THIS DOCUMENT, YOU SHALL BE CONCLUSIVELY DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED AND RELEASED ANY AND ALL LIENS AND CLAIMS OF LIENS UPON THE FOREGOING DESCRIBED PROPERTY AND ANY RIGHTS REGARDING ANY LABOR OR MATERIAL BOND REGARDING THE SAID PROPERTY TO THE EXTENT (AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT) SET FORTH ABOVE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NOT ACTUALLY RECEIVED SUCH PAYMENT, 90 DAYS AFTER THE DATE STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU FILE EITHER AN AFFIDAVIT OF NONPAYMENT PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF SUCH 90 DAY PERIOD. THE FAILURE TO INCLUDE THIS NOTICE LANGUAGE ON THE FORM SHALL RENDER THE FORM UNENFORCEABLE AND INVALID AS A WAIVER AND RELEASE UNDER O.C.G.A. § 44-14-366.”
Confused? That’s fair.
Here’s the deal: Georgia’s waiver is conditional, BUT, it converts to an unconditional waiver automatically after 90 days…even if payment isn’t made.
Note: This article has incorporated the new 2021 changes to Georgia’s lien waiver laws.