On July 8, Texas building supplier MB Building Materials, Ltd. filed 10 liens on real estate developer Storybuilt (formerly PSW Real Estate) for unpaid delivery of construction materials for separate units of its San Antonio condominium project, Luma.
Storybuilt: Luma Condominiums and Lien Claims
Storybuilt filed its Condominium Declaration for Luma Condominiums in April 2019, establishing its documentation in the Official Public Records of Bexar County, Texas and its status as a condominium project.
The 43-townhome community is located at 102 Tendick Street, near the heart of San Antonio and five miles north of downtown. On its website, Storybuilt, an Austin-based developer, publicizes its San Antonio condominium as a “mix of sleek contemporary and warm finishes.”
In March 2020, Storybuilt contracted MB Building Materials for over $21,500 worth of “windows and various other building materials” for construction of improvements on eight condominium units. The following month, $18,301.04 worth of materials with the same description were furnished for improvements on two additional units.
The $39,801 was still unpaid by the second week of July, when MB Building filed 10 concurrent materialman’s liens on Storybuilt.
Condominium Liens: A Tricky Filing Process
The legalities of filing liens for unpaid work on condominium projects can be tricky. The process depends on the classifications of the condo and the work provided. Even then, deadlines and other specificities of filing regulations vary state by state.
In the case of MB’s 10 mechanics lien filings, they were submitted a few days shy of the deadline for non-residential liens in Texas, which falls on the 15th day of the fourth month after the month in which they last furnished labor or materials to the project.
In other words, MB had until July 15th to file liens arising from supplies furnished in March, and they had until August 15th to file liens arising from the building materials they provided in April.
It may seem counterintuitive that individual condo units are constituted as non-residential, and that’s where tricky fine lines of condominium liens come into play.
Because the condominium’s units had not yet been sold at the time that payment was due, it was likely considered a commercial property under the state’s complex lien laws.
The deadline to file a mechanics lien on a residential project in Texas is the 15th day of the third month after the month in which the claimant last provided labor or materials.
Generally, residential projects require the property to be owner-occupied. So in order for the ten condominiums contracted by Storybuilt to be constituted as residential, they had to have been first sold and domiciled.