5 essential things to know about Rhode Island mechanics liens
Contractors & suppliers have strong lien rights in Rhode Island. If a contractor or supplier isn’t paid on an Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island’s mechanics lien law.
Rhode Island allows most parties to file a mechanics lien
Rhode Island allows for virtually all parties who furnish labor and materials on a construction project to file a mechanics lien. There is no limit to who can file a mechanics lien by project tier, so sub-sub-subcontractors are protected. Further, suppliers to suppliers may have lien rights (although it is not expressly stated in the statute).
A mechanics lien in Rhode Island only covers 200 days prior to filing the lien
The deadline to file a Rhode Island mechanics lien is 200 days from the last furnishing date of labor or materials. However, it is important to note that the lien only covers a period of 200 days prior to the filing of the lien. All work done more than 200 days prior to filing the lien is uncovered. For long projects, then, more than one lien may be required.
Intent to lien can ultimately act as the lien
In Rhode Island, there is a required Notice of Intent to Lien for all lien claimants. This notice can eventually act as the lien itself. This is unique to Rhode Island. Once the notice has been served on the owner, it may be filed with the town clerk, recorder of deeds, or office of records of land evidence, this filing changes the notice into the lien itself.
A legal description is not required
Rhode Island does not require a legal property description of the property on the lien itself. Rather a general description of the property that is enough to identify it with reasonable certainty. This can be as simple as the street name and number.
No notice of lien filing is required
Once the Notice of Intent is sent and the lien is filed, a project participant is not required to send notice that the lien has been recorded. The recordation of the lien in the appropriate office is the only step required.