Contractors & suppliers have strong lien rights in Idaho. If a contractor or supplier isn’t paid on an Idaho job, they can turn to filing a lien to speed up payment and protect themselves. However, there are specific requirements and rules that must be followed. Here are 5 essential things you need to know about Idaho’s mechanics lien law.
1) Idaho Mechanics Lien Law Is Friendly to Contractors
Idaho mechanics lien law is lenient. One way to describe it might be that Idaho is very friendly to those in the construction industry, as most anyone in Idaho providing labor or materials to be used in “virtually any kind of real property or improvement is granted mechanics lien rights.” This extends to material or equipment lessors, professional engineers, licensed land surveyors, and even persons providing on-site management or supervision. Note, however, that a valid license may be required if the work being performed requires a license.
2) The Deadline to File an Idaho Mechanics Lien Is Counted From Date of Last Furnishing
The deadline to file a mechanics lien in Idaho is 90 days within the last date of furnishing labor and materials to the project. If the work is substantially complete and a project participant is just performing “punch-list work,” or other work that is trivial in nature, the deadline will not be extended. However, if a project participant is required to remedy a defect at the demand of a public inspector, that work is not considered trivial and will likely extend the deadline by which a mechanics lien must be filed.
3) Only the General Contractor May Be Required to Send Preliminary Notice
The only instance in Idaho where preliminary notice is required to be sent prior to claiming a valid Idaho mechanics lien is when a general contractor is performing work on a residential project with a contract in excess of $2,000. The general contractor must send a Residential Disclosure Statement if this is the case (see below).
4) Attorney’s Fees May Be Reimbursed
In Idaho, you cannot claim attorney’s fees and other consequential damages as part of the lien amount. However, if a project participant needs to foreclose on the lien, they are entitled to recover the attorney’s fees and filing costs.
5) The Bottom Tiers of Mechanics Lien Claimants Tend to Take Priority
In Idaho, there is a set order for which party’s mechanics lien takes priority. Laborers’ claims take first priority. Next in line are material men, followed by subcontractors, then the prime contractor, and then engineers/surveyors.
Start a residential project worth more than $2,000 in work? You need to send a Residential Disclosure statement