Iowa Mechanics Lien Rules, Requirements & FAQs

Last updated June 10, 2020
If contractors and suppliers in Iowa don’t get paid on a construction project, 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, essentially guaranteeing payment. These are the rules, requirements, and deadlines you need to follow to file an Iowa mechanics lien.

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Mechanics lien

Iowa mechanics lien deadlines for:

Preliminary Notice Deadlines

On owner-occupied residential projects, must provide notice of lien rights and identity of subs to be used.

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Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 days

For maximum protection lien must be filed within 90 days of last providing materials or labor. Lien may be filed for a period of 2 years after the 90-day deadline, but is only effective as to amounts not yet paid to the general contractor.

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Enforcement Deadlines
2 years

In Iowa, an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated within 2 years from the last date the lien could have been filed. So the deadline is actually 2 years and 90 days from last furnishing labor or materials.

However, that period can be significantly shortened. A property owner may – by written demand – require the lien claimant to initiate the enforcement action within 30 days.

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
30 days

On owner-occupied residential projects, must provide notice of providing labor/materials to owner upon starting work. If a sub-sub on non-residential, must notify prime contractor within 30 days of first furnishing materials.

Send Your Notice
Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 days

For maximum protection lien must be filed within 90 days of last providing materials or labor. Lien may be filed for a period of 2 years after the 90-day deadline, but is only effective as to amounts not yet paid to the general contractor.

File A Lien Fast
Enforcement Deadlines
2 years

In Iowa, an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated within 2 years from the last date the lien could have been filed. So the deadline is actually 2 years and 90 days from last furnishing labor or materials.

However, that period can be significantly shortened. A property owner may – by written demand – require the lien claimant to initiate the enforcement action within 30 days.

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
30 days

On owner-occupied residential projects, must provide notice of providing labor/materials to owner upon starting work. If supplying to a sub on non-residential projects, must notify prime contractor within 30 days of first furnishing materials.

Send Your Notice
Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 days

For maximum protection lien must be filed within 90 days of last providing materials or labor. Lien may be filed for a period of 2 years after the 90-day deadline, but is only effective as to amounts not yet paid to the general contractor.

File A Lien Fast
Enforcement Deadlines
2 years

In Iowa, an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated within 2 years from the last date the lien could have been filed. So the deadline is actually 2 years and 90 days from last furnishing labor or materials.

However, that period can be significantly shortened. A property owner may – by written demand – require the lien claimant to initiate the enforcement action within 30 days.