Pennsylvania Lien Waiver Rules
- Rules At A Glance
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No Specific Form
Pennsylvania does not require any specific lien waiver form. Any form may be used.
Notarization Not Required
Lien waivers do not need to be notarized to be effective in Pennsylvania.
Cannot Waive Rights in Contract
Generally, Pennsylvania prohibits lien waivers in the contract or in advance of payment. However, there are exceptions for residential projects.
Cannot Waive Rights Before Payment
Generally, Pennsylvania prohibits lien waivers prior to receipt of payment. However, there are exceptions for residential projects.
Pennsylvania lien waivers, also called lien releases, are mostly unregulated with respect to content, but they generally are regulated with respect to timing.
In Pennsylvania, there aren’t specific laws that detail what text or form is required in order for a lien waiver to be effective. The state, does not provide lien waiver form templates, and Pennsylvania statutory law is pretty much silent with respect to the content or form that is sufficient. Construction participants on Pennsylvania projects, therefore, have quite a bit of freedom to choose the exact format and language of lien waivers.
There are requirements and regulations in Pennsylvania with respect to the appropriate timing of lien waivers, though. For the most part, lien rights may not be waived other than in exchange for payment. There are some interesting exceptions to this rule, however. A direct contractor is allowed to waive lien rights prior to furnishing work own residential projects when the residence is not more than 3 stories tall. And, a sub-tier party is allowed to waive lien rights on non-residential projects if the GC has obtained a payment bond to protect sub-tier parties.
Further, a GC can waive the rights of sub-tier parties on residential projects if the prime contractor waived its own lien rights in writing, and provided notice of the waiver to the sub-tier party before the sub-tier party performs work, or if the GC filed the waiver with the Prothonotary.
The resources, forms, guides, and frequently asked questions about Pennsylvania Lien Waivers on this page will help you get it right.