Hawaii Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs

Last updated August 5, 2020
If contractors and suppliers don’t get paid on a construction project in Hawaii, they can file a mechanics lien to secure payment. A mechanics lien is a legal tool that provides the unpaid party with a security interest in the property. This page breaks down the rules, requirements, and deadlines you need to follow to file a Hawaii mechanics lien.

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When should a mechanics lien be used in the payment process?

Start a job

Preliminary notice
slow
pay?

Escalate payment problem

Notice of intent to lien
no
pay?

Demand payment

Mechanics lien

Hawaii lien deadlines for:

Preliminary notice requirements
None.

Hawaii doesn't require any party to send a preliminary notice before filing a mechanics lien. However, sending a prelim can reduce payment problems and help you get paid faster.

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Mechanics lien deadline
45 Days

In Hawaii, a lien claimant must file the lien within 45 days of the completion of the improvement.

When a Notice of Completion is filed, that will mark the completion date of the project, and a mechanics lien must be filed within 45 days of that Notice of Completion.

If no Notice of Completion is filed, the improvement will be considered completed one year after the substantial completion of the project - and a mechanics lien must be filed with 45 days of that date.

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Lien enforcement deadline
3 Months

In Hawaii, all lien claimants must initiate the enforcement of the lien within 3 months from the date on which the lien attached.

The date on which the lien attaches is determined by the court. 3 –10 days after the lien is filed, the court will determine if probable cause exists for the lien, and if probable cause is found, the lien attaches on that date.

Hawaii liens can not be extended, and the failure to meet this deadline for enforcement will result in the expiration of the lien claim.