Texas Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs

Last updated July 27, 2020
If contractors and suppliers don’t get paid on a construction project in Texas, 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 Texas mechanics lien.

“Levelset takes something that is pretty complex and makes it easy.”

Ready to file?

File A Lien Now

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

Texas lien law deadlines for:

Preliminary notice requirements

In Texas, parties who contract directly with the property owner are not required to send a preliminary notice in order to retain lien rights. However, for residential projects on a homestead, a direct contractor must file the contract itself with the county recorder.

Additionally, it can help to send notice to a construction lender, if any is involved on the project.

Send Your Notice
Mechanics lien deadlines
15th day, 3rd or 4th month
On residential projects, the deadline to file a Texas mechanics lien is the 15th day of the 3rd month after the month in which the claimant last provided labor or materials.

On non-residential projects, the lien filing deadline is the 15th day of the 4th month after the month in which they last furnished labor or materials to the project.

File A Lien Fast
Enforcement deadlines
1 or 2 years
On residential projects in Texas, an action to enforce the lien must be initiated by the later of a) 1 year after the last date on which the lien claimant could file the lien, or b) 1 year after termination, completion, or abandonment of the project.

On non-residential projects, an action to enforce the lien must be initiated by the later of either: 1) 2 years after the last date on which the lien claimant could file his lien, or 2) 1 year after termination, completion, or abandonment or the project.

Preliminary notice requirements
Multiple
On residential projects, subcontractors and suppliers must send must send a preliminary notice to the owner and prime contractor by the 15th day of the 2nd month following the month that work was performed and unpaid. (Notice must be sent for each month work was performed and unpaid.) For example, if the unpaid work was performed on any day in January, notice would be due no later than March 15th.

On non-residential projects, first-tier subcontractors and suppliers (those who contract with the prime contractor) must send notice by the 15th day of the 3rd month following each month work was performed and unpaid. For example, if work was performed in January, notice would be due no later than April 15th.

Subs and suppliers who contract with anyone other than the direct contractor on non-residential projects must send a notice by both the 15th day of the 2nd month, and the 15th day of the 3rd month following each month in which work was performed and unpaid.

Send Your Notice
Mechanics lien deadlines
15th day, 3rd or 4th month
On residential projects, the deadline to file a Texas mechanics lien is the 15th day of the 3rd month after the month in which the claimant last provided labor or materials.

On non-residential projects, the lien filing deadline is the 15th day of the 4th month after the month in which they last furnished labor or materials to the project.

File A Lien Fast
Enforcement deadlines
1 or 2 years
On residential projects in Texas, an action to enforce the lien must be initiated by the later of a) 1 year after the last date on which the lien claimant could file the lien, or b) 1 year after termination, completion, or abandonment of the project.

On non-residential projects, an action to enforce the lien must be initiated by the later of either: 1) 2 years after the last date on which the lien claimant could file his lien, or 2) 1 year after termination, completion, or abandonment or the project.