Lien waivers are everywhere in construction, yet they can still present a challenge to even the most seasoned industry veteran.
Without waivers, top of the chain parties are (understandably) hesitant to send payments down the chain. For GC’s, collecting waivers can feel like herding cats. Parties who submit signed lien waivers in exchange for payment are cautious too — what if lien rights are waived too early and payment never comes?
Considering there are even more issues that can pop up, it’s clear that waivers need special attention. Let’s look at New York’s Unconditional Lien Waiver for a Final Payment.
Guide To New York’s Unconditional Lien Waiver — Final Payment
Wait, wait, wait! Before going any further, you should answer the following question: Is this the right waiver for your situation?
This is a final, unconditional waiver. This waiver should be used at the very end of a project — no more payments should be expected after this waiver has been submitted. Furthermore, because it’s an unconditional waiver, this means that you should have payment in hand if you’re sending this waiver. If further payments or expected, or if you want this waiver to be conditioned upon receipt of payment, take a look at our other New York lien waivers and pick which one is right for you!
How to Fill Out the New York Unconditional Lien Waiver — Final Payment Form
> Notice. There are 12 states with statutory lien waiver forms, and New York is not one of them. This means that nothing on this form is actually required by statute. However, transparency and clear communication are necessary to have a healthy, productive project and avoid payment disputes. This notice informs everyone receiving the document about what it intends to do.
> Name of Claimant. Even if no “claim” has been made, this refers to the party who is waiving their lien rights via this document.
> Name of Customer. Who did the Claimant above provide work and/or materials to?
> Job Location. On mechanics liens, states are very particular with how property described. Since this is a lien waiver (and a non-statutory one, at that), the requirements are a little less rigid. Still – it’s best to be as accurate and specific as possible.
> Owner. Who owns the property where this project took place? There are some variables to keep in mind here, and we discuss those in depth in the document attached to our New York lien waiver forms.
> Unconditional Waiver and Release. This is another notice! More clarity, no problems.
> Exceptions. Don’t want everything to be waived? This is the section to create a few exceptions. We discuss this section in depth under the New York lien waiver forms if you download – and we recommend giving it a read!
> Claimant’s Signature. Remember “Name of Claimant” from above? That party should sign here.
> Claimant’s Title. What is the title of the person who signed the waiver?
> Date of Signature. Look at the calendar! I think you can handle this section without much more guidance.
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REMEMBER — There are four different types of lien waiver forms, and the CONDITIONAL waivers are the safest to use. Be extremely careful when using an unconditional lien waiver (such as the one described here in this article), as you may unintentionally give up your right to get paid before you actually get the cash in hand!