Contractors & suppliers have strong lien rights in West Virginia. If a contractor or supplier isn’t paid on an West Virginia 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 West Virginia’s mechanics lien law.
1) Contractors and Sub-Contractors Within the First 3 Tiers Have Lien Rights
In West Virginia, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers of labor and/or materials to property owners, contractors, or subcontractors, on a project to build, erect, construct, alter, remove, repair or improve a building, structure or improvement is entitled to a mechanic’s lien. Architects, surveyors, engineers, and landscape architects are also entitled to mechanic’s lien protection in West Virginia.
Only parties within the first 3 tiers of the project are entitled to lien rights in West Virginia.
2) You Have 100 Days to File
The deadline to file a mechanics lien in West Virginia is 100 days after the project participant last provided labor or materials on a project or the completion of claimant’s contract. If for any reason the due date falls on a holiday, the deadline to file is the day prior.
3) Preliminary Notice Is Not Required
Mechanics lien law in West Virginia does not require preliminary notice. However, it is always a good idea to send preliminary notice via certified mail before providing labor or materials on a project in order to provide information to others on the project.
4) Subcontractors Must Send a Notice that the Lien Has Been Recorded
Subcontractors not directly in contact with the property owner must send notice that the lien was recorded either to the property owner or the owner’s agent. Although it is not required for all parties, giving notice that the lien has been recorded is generally a good idea in order to preserve lien rights. The notice is required to be served on the property owner within the same 100 day period in which the lien is required to be filed – but there is no specific requirement as to whether the lien must be recorded first, or whether the notice of the lien’s recording should be sent first.
5) West Virginia Mechanics Lien Does Not Include Fees
West Virginia does not allow attorneys fees, lost profits or consequential damages to be included in the lien. Although some states allow attorneys fees to be reimbursed in lien foreclosure lawsuits, West Virginia does not. The amount allowed in the lien should be the amount of the original contract.
A West Virginia Notice of Intent to Lien may be enough to push for payment without needing a Mechanics Lien