Iowa Lien Waiver Rules
- Rules At A Glance
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No Specific Form
Iowa does not provide or require specific forms for lien waivers.Any form may be used.
Notarization Not Required
Iowa lien waivers are not required to be notarized in order to be effective, and notarization merely slows down the payment process.
Can Waive Rights in Contract
Iowa has no specific statutory provision prohibiting in advance waivers, and no Iowa court has expressly prohibited advance lien waivers. In Iowa, lien waivers are examined to give effect to the intention of the parties.
Can Waive Rights Before Payment
While there is no specific prohibition against waiving rights prior to payment, several cases in Iowa have determined that broad language in a waiver was merely intended only to waive the right to lien for amounts already paid, and not for amounts earned and not yet paid.
In Iowa, lien waivers are exchanged on construction projects all the time. Whenever a payment is being made, you can be sure that lien waivers are also being requested and exchanged.
Iowa does not provide a specific statutory form or template that must be used in order for a lien waiver to be valid, so construction participants are free to use whatever kind of lien waiver form they want. Since the form lien waivers must take is not regulated in Iowa, it can be easy for Iowa lien waiver language to include clauses that overreach, or work to waive more than the signer may have intended.
Many states explicitly don’t allow parties to waive lien rights before they begin work on a project. Iowa, however, does not have a specific prohibition on advance lien waivers, and no Iowa court has expressly prohibited advance lien waivers. In Iowa, lien waivers are examined to give effect to the intention of the parties.
Because of this, it is a best practice to make sure that every contract is examined to make sure that it doesn’t contain a “no-lien” clause that could impair the ability to get paid for the work performed. And to take a good look at the language of all lien waivers to make sure they only waive what is intended.