If you want to pursue payment on a Nevada construction project through a mechanics lien, this step-by-step guide will give you information that lets you know how to go about it.
Before taking the step of filing a mechanics lien, it’s important to consider the Nevada preliminary notice and timing requirements that must be met prior to filing a valid mechanics lien in Nevada.
Filing a lien by yourself can be a complicated and time-consuming task, but if you’re ready and willing to go it alone, just follow the steps below to file a mechanics lien on a construction project in Nevada.
Step 1. Getting started
A. Getting the right mechanics lien form
There is nothing particularly special about the mechanics lien form itself. However, there is a certain amount of information and requirements that must be met in order to be accepted by the recorder’s office. Nevada, in particular, has some fairly strict requirements regarding the format of the document itself.
That being said, it’s important to start off on the right foot. The problem is that there are numerous resources that claim to provide valid, mechanics lien forms, but you can never be sure they are accurate or valid.
Levelet’s forms were created and reviewed y construction attorneys and payment experts; thousands of Nevada contractors and suppliers have successfully filed mechanics liens using this form.
B. Filling out your Nevada mechanics lien form
It is critical to make sure a mechanics lien is complete and contains all of the required information. Since mechanics liens provide the claimant with an interest in somebody else’s property, strict compliance with the legal requirements is a must.
Failing to include certain specific information on the lien claim is more than just a small problem – it can invalidate the entire lien. Or even worse, any person who knowingly makes a false statement on the notice of lien can be guilty of a gross misdemeanor and can be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
1. Claimant information
Nevada lein law requires you to identify yourself and provide a contact address. This is an easy one, don’t mess this one up! Fill out your full name and address. If you are filing on behalf of a company, be sure to use the full, registered business name on the form. Liens have been challenged many times before because companies misidentify themselves.
2. Payment information
This information is spread across a few different sections of the lien claim, but are all interrelated. The following information should be included in your lien claim: the full original contract price, the total value of any additional or changed work, materials or equipment, and the total amount of all payments that have been received up until that point.
5. Lienable amount
The general rule is that the lien amount should be the unpaid contract amount subtracting any deductions or credits, and adding any change orders. Nevada does allow reasonable overhead and profits, but no consequential damages. Additionally, no attorney fees, collection costs, or interest are allowed (but they can potentially be awarded when the lien is foreclosed).
6. Owner information
For recording purposes, getting the property owner information correct is a key part of filing the lien claim. In some situations, this can prove more challenging than you’d think. For instance; What if there are multiple owners?, What if you were hired by a tenant? This should prove helpful: How to Find the Property Owner on a Construction Project
The Nevada statute requires “a description of the property to be charged with the notice of lien sufficient for identification.” This is typically understood as a description that would enable a party familiar with the location to identify the property with reasonable certainty. Best practice? Use a description that is as precise as possible to avoid any challenge or confusion. To get you started, you can download our free Legal Property Description Cheat Sheet.
7. Hiring party
Easy one, this is the name and address of your client. This information should be found in your contract documents. If you were hired by the property owner, go ahead and repeat the same information in this section.
8. Statement of terms of payment
This section doesn’t need to be overly complicated. A brief statement concerning the original contract price, and the payment dates and terms will be more than enough for this section.
9. Signed and notarized
That’s all the required information you need on your mechanics lien claim. Last thing to is sign it before you go to file. But don’t forget that you need to have your claim notarized, the recorder’s office won’t accept it without that stamp!
Special Note Regarding Form of Mechanics Lien
Not only does Nevada require certain information to be contained on the lien claim, but Nevada statutes also specifically set forth an acceptable form for the lien claim itself. While following the statutory form verbatim is likely not required to claim a valid lien, the statute requires that a notice of lien must be substantially in the following form:
NOTICE OF LIEN
The undersigned claims a lien upon the property described in this notice for work, materials or equipment furnished or to be furnished for the improvement of the property:
1. The amount of the original contract is: $
2. The total amount of all additional or changed work, materials, and equipment, if any, is: $
3. The total amount of all payments received to date is: $
4. The amount of the lien, after deducting all just credits and offsets, is: $
5. The name of the owner, if known, of the property is:
6. The name of the person by whom the lien claimant was employed or to whom the lien claimant furnished or agreed to furnish work, materials or equipment is:
7. A brief statement of the terms of payment of the lien claimant’s contract is:
8. A description of the property to be charged with the lien is:
(Print Name of Lien Claimant)
State of _____________
County of ____________
____________ (print name), being first duly sworn on oath according to law, deposes and says:
I have read the foregoing Notice of Lien, know the contents thereof and state that the same is true of my own personal knowledge, except those matters stated upon information and belief, and, as to those matters, I believe them to be true.
(Authorized Signature of Lien Claimant)
Subscribed and sworn to before me
this ______ day of the month of ________ of the year _______.
Step 2. How to file a Nevada Mechanics Lien
A. When to file the claim
In Nevada, to perfect a lien, the claimant must record their lien claim within 90 days after the latest one of the following events:
- The completion of the work of improvement;
- The last delivery of materials or furnishing of equipment by the lien claimant for the work of improvement; or
- The last performance of work by the lien claimant for the work of improvement.
However, if the property owner decides to file a Notice of Completion (or Cessation) with the county recorder, the deadline is reduced to a mere 40 days after such notice is filed.
This can tend to get confusing, for a full explanation check out the answer to this question in our Ask an Expert Center: In NV do we lose lien rights 90 days after last delivery of labor or is 90 days after the date of the last invoice?
*Special note for residential projects: In addition to the required preliminary notice, if you are working on a residential property, you are also required to send a Notice of Intent to Lien at least 15 days before filing the lien claim.
B. Filing in the right county & office
Now it’s time to get your Nevada mechanics lien filed in the office of the county recorder where the property or some part thereof is located. Each county will have its own recording fees, and must also comply with any specific margin requirements it may have, as well as potentially requiring a county-specific cover page – these can also be determined by calling the recorder’s office. This article should be helpful: 4 Essential Questions for the County Recorder.
To make this process easier, we’ve put together a list of all Nevada county recorder’s office and links to their sites:
C. Practical tips for filing
1. Proper recording fees
Make sure to include the proper recording fees with the lien. Liens are often rejected for improper fees (and this can be true even if you provide too much money). Any delay caused by needing to resubmit the lien for recording takes time – and since liens are time-sensitive documents, it can possibly result in a missed deadline.
Recording fees vary from county to county and can be determined by calling the county recorder, checking on the county recorder’s website, or asking in person if you physically bring the lien for filing. The fees are often set at one amount for the first page with an additional, smaller, amount for each additional page.
2. Filing in person, by mail, or e-recording
Some counties in Nevada allow for mechanics liens to be electronically recorded. If available, and you choose this method, you will need to upload a copy of your lien to the electronic recorder system you will use, and follow the instructions. Be careful to pick the appropriate document type in the particular county.
If e-recording is not available, or if you do not want to use that option, the lien may be delivered to the proper register of deeds via mail or FedEx, or personally “walked in” to be recorded (either by you or a courier). Note that if you mailed your lien to the county for recording, or sent it via a courier, you must also include a self-addressed stamped envelope with return instructions to receive a copy of the recorded lien for your records and/or to serve the lien on the interested parties.
Step 3. Serving notice of the mechanics lien
Once the lien has been recorded with the appropriate register of deeds, the lien claim still must be served on the property owner in order to be valid.
Nevada requires that, in addition to recording the mechanics lien with the county recorder of the county in which the property is located, a copy of the lien must be served on the owner of the property within 30 days after the recording of the lien. The service may be accomplished by mailing the copy of the lien by certified mail, return receipt requested.
If the lien claimant is not the prime contractor, a copy of the lien must also be served on the prime contractor. Failure to serve the lien on the prime contractor, as well, may result in disciplinary proceedings against the sub.
Once the lien document has been filed and served – your Nevada mechanics lien is ready to get you paid what you’ve earned. While liens are very powerful, filing the lien may not be the final step before you get paid. Liens may be challenged (even if valid), or even be determined invalid.
A Nevada mechanics lien stays effective for only 6 months from the date labor or materials were last furnished to the project. Given this relatively short period of time, it’s important to game plan what to do before the lien expires. Here are your options.
1. Amend the lien claim
Any time before the deadline to foreclose the lien, the claimant may record an amended notice to correct or clarify the lien claim. If this occurs, then the owner (or prime contractor depending on the circumstances) a copy of the amended lien claim within 30 days in the same manner notice of the lien claim was sent.
2. Extend the enforcement deadline
Nevada is one of rare states that allow for an extension of the enforcement deadline. This can be achieved by a written agreement between the owner and the lien claimant that must be filed in the county clerk’s office where the lien claim was filed. The parties can agree to any amount of time they wish to extend the lien, but it can’t be extended any longer than 1 year past the day the lien was recorded.
Here’s a interesting scenario brought up in our Expert Center: Can the tenant sign an extension?
3. Release the lien claim
If the debt is ultimately paid, congratulations! Now’s the time where you should probably release the lien claim. You’re not legally obligated to do so unless you receive a written request to have the lien released. Even if you don’t, you should go ahead and release it anyways. Not only is it good business practice, but the owner will eventually ask you to do so. This can be done simply by filing a Nevada Discharge & Release of Notice of Lien form with the same recorder’s office where the lien claim was filed.
4. Enforce the lien claim
If payment still isn’t made and the 6 month deadline is steadily approaching, it may be time to consider initating and action to forclose the lien claim. Keep in mind that this is a costly and time-consuming process. You should consider the amount in question and ask yourself, Is Foreclosure Worth It?
There is one more additional step you can take to try and induce payment. This is known as a Notice of Intent to Foreclose. Consider this one final warning shot, that you mean business. If payment doesn’t come in x amount of days, this notice says you are willing and able to take legal action to get paid what you’ve earned.