New York Assembly Bill 105 proposes to change the state’s mechanics lien laws to provide more protections to homeowners against mechanic lien filings, and therefore, further water down the contractor and suppliers rights to file a mechanics lien against an owner-occupied residential project.
Under pressure from homeowners who get tagged with a mechanics lien (after probably irresponsibility paying a prime contractor), a lot of states seem to be proposing these homeowner protection bills. We saw one get proposed (and shot down) in Virginia, and there are similar bills currently being contemplated in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.
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In New York, the bills summary explains as follows:
Enhances protections for homeowners who have paid contractors, subcontractors,and material suppliers for home improvements; enhances penalties, civil and criminal for violations of the consumer protection provisions of the Home Improvement Contracts article of the general business law; authorizes the attorney general to prosecute crimes under that article.
In large part, the New York statute would pretty much reinforce currently existing case law precedent, such as the rule that homeowners are not liable for any mechanic liens that exceed the “contract funds” that remain due and owing to the homeowner’s prime contractor. We’ll stay on top of this bill and report any developments.