Massachusetts Lien Waiver Rules
- Rules At A Glance
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Specific Form Required
Massachusetts requires specific forms to be used in order for a waiver to be valid.
Notarization Not Required
Lien waivers in Massachusetts do not need to be notarized, but they must be signed “under the penalties of perjury.”
Can Waive Rights in Contract
If the waiver in the contract is in the required statutory form, and signed under the penalty of perjury, there is no prohibition to including the waiver in with a contract.
Can Waive Rights Before Payment
If the waiver follows the required statutory form, lien rights can be waived prior to payment.
Massachusetts lien waivers are regulated in form and in timing and this is great news for contractors, suppliers, lenders, property developers, and anyone else on a Massachusetts construction project. Massachusetts is just one of 12 states that provide statutory lien waiver forms and have specific lien waiver laws. While it may seem frustrating to need to comply with specific statutory requirements, the truth is that not having lien waiver rules is the real headache. When lien waivers must comply with the statutory form it makes it much easier to know what you are getting (and giving).
Lien waivers are pretty complex documents. But, given how often they are exchanged, they can be given short shrift and overlooked. A lien waiver works as a receipt that payment has been made, or has been promised, for work or materials furnished on a job. These documents are exchanged at the time of payment, and commonly attached to subcontractor pay applications or vendor invoices.
There are different types of lien releases for different types of situations, depending on whether payment has been made or was promised, and whether the project has ended or is ongoing. Also, another frustrating quality of lien waivers is that the process of sending, requesting, tracking, and collecting lien waivers is an administrative pain that slows down the payment process.
As mentioned above, Massachusetts provides a Lien Waiver Form Template in its statutes, and that particular template should be used by everyone in Massachusetts in order to ensure their lien waivers are compliant and enforceable.