Understanding the requirements
In Louisiana, contractors & suppliers who do not receive payment for their contributions to a construction project generally have the right to file a mechanics lien. However, lien claimants in Louisiana must meet specific requirements. If you do not follow the guidelines in LA state law, you could lose the right to use a mechanics lien to secure payment.
This page explains everything that construction businesses need to know about Louisiana’s mechanics lien laws, the deadlines to file, and other requirements.
- Read the step-by-step guide: How to file a mechanics lien in Louisiana
Note: Louisiana recently overhauled quite a bit of the state’s mechanics lien statute. These changes went into effect on January 1st, 2020.
Lien rights in Louisiana
Louisiana allows the following parties to file a mechanics lien:
- General contractors
- Laborers or employees
- Material suppliers
- Equipment lessors (if leased to owner, contractor or subcontractor by written lease)
- Architects, engineers, and surveyors
Even parties that supply fuel for machinery have mechanics lien rights in Louisiana.
Out of luck however, are suppliers to suppliers; these parties do not have the right to lien in Louisiana.
Always Send Preliminary Notice
Louisiana has extensive notice requirements for parties that wish to protect their payments with a mechanics lien. Different types of project participants will have to send different notices. At the end of the day, most project participants will have to send preliminary notice. Whether or not you’re required to send preliminary notice, it’s just a good idea to send notice at the start of every construction project.
The Lien Filing Deadline
In general, the deadline to file a Statement of Claim and Privilege in Louisiana is 60 days from the date of substantial completion. However, if the property owner files a Notice of Contract and/or Notice of Termination, the deadline can change for certain parties.
Note: Louisiana made some changes to the state’s mechanics lien laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. Projects that were complete before that date will be subject to the laws in existence when the project ended.
A Notice of Contract extends the lien filing deadline for General Contractors
If the General Contractor files a Notice of Contract, they must file a mechanics lien within 7 months following substantial completion.
A Notice of Termination can reduce the lien filing deadline
The filing deadline is normally calculated from the date of substantial completion. However, if the property owner files a Notice of Termination, the mechanics lien filing deadline is calculated from the Notice of Termination filing.
- General Contractors: After a Notice of Termination, GCs have 60 days to file a Louisiana mechanics lien.
- All other parties: After a Notice of Termination, subcontractors, suppliers, and others have 30 days to file a Louisiana mechanics lien.
Extending the Deadline with a Final Notice of Non-Payment
On residential projects, parties can extend the deadline by sending a notice of intent to lien, known as a Final Notice of Non-Payment. Sending this notice extends the lien filing deadline by 10 days.
Deadlines for projects ending prior to January 1, 2020
On projects where substantial completion or a Notice of Termination filing took place prior to January 1, 2020, the deadlines are slightly different. The general deadline to file a lien claim is still 60 days from substantial completion or abandonment of the project, unless a Notice of Contract and/or a Notice of Termination was filed.
Lien Cutoff Date for Project ending before 1/1/2020:
For all projects that concluded before January 1, 2020, the absolute cutoff to file a Louisiana mechanics lien will be as follows (and the old deadlines will still apply):
- For general contractors: July 31, 2020.
- For everyone else: June 30, 2020
If a Notice of Contract was filed
- Parties other than the GC must file their lien within 30 days after the filing of the notice of termination.
- A material supplier on a residential project must file their lien within 70 days after the filing of a notice of termination of the work, or after abandonment or substantial completion of the work if no notice of termination is filed.
If a Notice of Termination was filed
- General Contractors must file a mechanics lien within 60 days from the date of filing of the Notice of Termination.
Unlicensed contractors & lien rights in Louisiana
Licensing laws in Louisiana are unique. While it is not required that project participants are licensed, it is recommended. If project participants are unlicensed, the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors may limit the money available to recover to the “minimum value” of work completed on the project.
Louisiana mechanics liens do not need to be notarized
While this was previously a requirement, Louisiana mechanics lien law has been amended and no longer requires the claimant to notarize their mechanics lien.