New Jersey Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs

Last updated June 29, 2020
If contractors and suppliers don’t get paid on a construction project in New Jersey, 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 New Jersey 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

New Jersey lien deadlines for:

Preliminary notice deadlines
90 days

Generally, none. However, on residential projects, the GC should file and serve a Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien.

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Mechanics lien deadlines
90 days

Lien must be filed within 90 days of last providing labor or materials. On residential projects, due within 120 days but arbitration demand and award required before, which takes at least 30 days.

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Enforcement deadlines
1 year

An action to enforce a New Jersey mechanics lien must be initiated within 1 year from last providing labor or materials.

Note that this deadline does not run from the lien filing. Also, this deadline may not be extended, and missing the enforcement deadline renders the lien unenforceable.

Also note that this deadline may be significantly shortened. If the property owner or other interested party serves a notice requiring the claimant commence an action to enforce the lien claim, the claimant must do so within 30 days.

Preliminary notice deadlines
60 days

Notice of Unpaid Balance due within 60 days of last furnishing on Residential projects.

Send Your Notice
Mechanics lien deadlines
90 days

Lien must be filed within 90 days of last providing labor or materials.

On residential projects, due within 120 days but arbitration demand and award required before, which takes at least 30 days.

File A Lien Fast
Enforcement deadlines
1 year

An action to enforce a New Jersey mechanics lien must be initiated within 1 year from last providing labor or materials.

Note that this deadline does not run from the lien filing. Also, this deadline may not be extended, and missing the enforcement deadline renders the lien unenforceable.

Also note that this deadline may be significantly shortened. If the property owner or other interested party serves a notice requiring the claimant commence an action to enforce the lien claim, the claimant must do so within 30 days.

Preliminary notice deadlines
60 days

Notice of Unpaid Balance due within 60 days of last furnishing on Residential projects.

Send Your Notice
Mechanics lien deadlines
90 days

Lien must be filed within 90 days of last providing labor or materials.

On residential projects, due within 120 days but arbitration demand and award required before, which takes at least 30 days.

File A Lien Fast
Enforcement deadlines
1 year

An action to enforce a New Jersey mechanics lien must be initiated within 1 year from last providing labor or materials.

Note that this deadline does not run from the lien filing. Also, this deadline may not be extended, and missing the enforcement deadline renders the lien unenforceable.

Also note that this deadline may be significantly shortened. If the property owner or other interested party serves a notice requiring the claimant commence an action to enforce the lien claim, the claimant must do so within 30 days.