Texas Lien Waivers
Guide and FAQs

The lien waiver rules in each state can be complicated and confusing. Levelset makes the process simple, whether you're sending a waiver or collecting and tracking them.

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Texas Lien Waiver FAQs

Texas Lien Waiver Overview

Texas Lien Waiver Rules


  • Rules At A Glance
lien waivers regulated
Specific Forms Are Required

Texas sets out required lien waiver forms by statute. In order to be valid, a Texas lien waiver must follow those forms.


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Notarization Required

Texas lien waivers are required to be notarized in order to be valid.


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Cannot Waive Rights in Contract

While not explicitly clear, it appears that, because of the requirement for “evidence of payment to the claimant exits” for a conditional waiver, and actual receipt for an unconditional release, advance lien waivers are unenforceable.


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Cannot Waive Rights Before Payment

In Texas, lien rights may not be waived unless the claimant actually received payment in good and sufficient funds in full for the lien claim.

Lien waivers are documents commonly exchanged on construction projects that release the signer’s lien rights for the amount listed in the waiver. Texas has strict lien waiver rules — it’s important to follow them closely, and use the right forms. Here, we explain everything you need to know about the legal requirements for exchanging lien waivers in Texas, with free form downloads, frequently asked questions, and links to other helpful resources.

Lien waivers act as a receipt for funds for the receiving party. They specify that the party waives their right to file a mechanics lien. As a result, they protect the property owner from lien claims on their property. Typically, the GC or property owner will require their subcontractors and suppliers to sign a lien waiver in exchange for payment.

Texas rules are strict

Texas has strict and specific requirements related to lien waivers, which are regulated under Texas mechanics lien law. Texas requires contractors to use specific waiver forms, with few exceptions. Failure to use the proper forms, using the wrong form, or attempts to modify the waiver language will result in the lien waiver being invalid and unenforceable.

Read the full guide to Texas lien waivers.

Types of waiver forms

There are four types of lien waivers regulated in Texas statutes. Each one is used in a specific situation, and has a specific meaning. Conditional means that it is only effective after payment is made. Unconditional means it is effective as soon as it is signed and delivered. There are conditional and unconditional waivers for both progress payments (while the project is ongoing) and final payment (after the project is finished).

Care should be taken when signing any waiver, but it is most critical with an unconditional final waiver. Signing this document effectively states that you have already received payment in full for the work and materials you provided on the project.

Here are guides to each form in Texas, and how to use them:

Notarizing

Texas requires lien waivers to be notarized — it is one of just three states that do so. Note, however, that a Texas lien waiver can be notarized outside of Texas, by a notary in a different state. This makes it easier for parties performing work in Texas, but not based out of that state, to comply with the specific requirements of Texas lien waiver law.

But mistakes are still common, which is why it’s so important to understand all of the requirements.

Texas Lien Waivers FAQs

Frequently asked questions about lien waivers in Texas, with answers written by construction attorneys and payment experts.

Does Texas require a specific statutory lien waiver form?

Yes, Texas provides statutory lien waiver forms which must be used in order to be considered valid and enforceable.

Do lien waivers need to be notarized in Texas?

Yes. A Texas lien waiver must be signed and notarized. Texas is just one of three states with this requirement. Failure to notarize a lien waiver will invalidate it.

When do Texas lien waivers become binding?

It depends. Conditional lien waivers become binding once there is evidence of payment being made.

Unconditional lien waivers are binding once they’re signed. However, Texas statute prohibits requesting an unconditional waiver before payment is actually made.

Can lien rights be waived by contract?

No, Texas statute specifically prohibits no-lien clauses or other contract provisions that purport to waive lien rights before work is performed. 

Texas Property Code § 53.281 et seq provides that “[a]ny waiver or release of a lien or payment bond claim . . . is unenforceable unless a waiver or release is executed and delivered in accordance with this subchapter.”  The subchapter has two provisions that suggest no lien clauses contained within contracts are invalid and unenforceable:

§53.281(b)(3):  A waiver and release is effective…only if…(3) in the case of a conditional release, evidence of payment to the claimant exists.

§53.283: A person may not require a claimant or potential claimant to execute an unconditional waiver and release for a progress payment or final payment amount unless the claimant or potential claimant received payment in that amount in good and sufficient funds.

These two provisions appear to state that there are two types of waiver (i) conditional; or (ii) unconditional, and that payment is required for either type to be valid. §53.281 requires payment to validate a conditional release and §53.283 requires payment to validate an unconditional release.

Can lien rights be waived in advance of payments, furnishing work, or furnishing materials in Texas?

As noted above in the “can lien rights be waived by contract” section, it appears that waivers cannot be valid prior to payment. Texas state requires “evidence of payment to the claimant exists” for a conditional waiver, and actual receipt of payment for an unconditional release. Accordingly, it appears that lien waivers in advance of payment are not enforceable.

However, this may not be the end of the road in whether or not a lien waiver could be valid despite being given in advance of payments. Texas, like some other states, has an exception where many of the statutory requirements related to lien waivers don’t apply. This exception has to do with settlement agreements.

Texas legislators, when modifying the lien waiver rules and requirements, seemed concerned about restricting the ability to legally settle claims and disputes by mandating super-strict lien waiver requirements to always apply.

Accordingly, if parties involved on a construction project are “settling” their legal claims and disputes, the law will not restrict the forms that they can use to waive those claims. So, if there is a dispute over payment, and the parties execute some document as a settlement of those claims, it may be effective to waive lien rights, despite not being in the statutory form, and being given prior to full payment.

Do Texas lien waiver requirements apply to every project?

There’s one exception to Texas’ statutory lien waiver requirements. A lien waiver may be included in a written, original contract for the construction, remodel, or repair of a single-family house, townhouse, or duplex. On all other project types, the statutory forms must be used.

Do Texas lien waivers waive all of my rights?

That depends on the form that is used. The statutory progress payment waivers include a section that states that the waiver and release, “except unpaid retention, pending modifications and changes or items furnished after” the date indicated on the waiver. The final payment form waives all mechanics lien rights and any claim for payment.”

Read more about the four types of waiver forms used in Texas.

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Free Texas Lien Waivers Forms & Templates

Texas has specific lien waiver forms that should be used by everyone on an Texas construction project. Using these forms is safe, easy, stress-free, and fair for everyone involved. And, by using waiver forms that match the statutorily required text, there won’t be any surprises as to what else is being waived.

The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Texas rules. You can download them free, or use our free system to send or request your compliant  Texas lien waiver form.

Free Texas Lien Waiver Forms

These Texas lien waiver forms are compliant with the state's requirements. Make it easy, and use forms from the source you can trust.

Texas Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Texas Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

Fill out the fields to download the Unconditional Waiver and Release on Final Payment form. This form was created by construction attorneys to meet the...

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Texas Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Texas Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form

Fill out the fields to download a free Conditional Waiver and Release on Progress Payment form, also known as a partial conditional lien waiver. This...

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Texas Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Texas Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

Fill out the fields to download a free Unconditional Waiver and Release on Progress Payment form. This form was created by construction attorneys to meet...

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Texas Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Texas Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form

Fill out the fields to download the Conditional Waiver and Release on Final Payment form. This form was created by construction attorneys to meet the...

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