The new law change that most significantly impacts the California mechanics lien law landscape may be something everyone is overlooking, but only time
§8186 creates the possibility that a single construction project can be broken up into sections, such that multiple “notices of completion” can be filed on a single project. Here is the full text:
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If a work of improvement is made pursuant to two or more direct contracts, each covering a portion of the work of improvement: (a) The owner may record a notice of completion of a direct contract for a portion of the work of improvement. On recordation of the notice of completion, for the purpose of Sections 8412 and 8414, a direct contractor is deemed to have completed the contract for which the notice of completion is recorded and a claimant other than a direct contractor is deemed to have ceased providing work. (b) If the owner does not record a notice of completion under this section, the period for recording a claim of lien is that provided in Sections 8412 and 8414.
Is this a big deal?
Perhaps not. Really, this depends on whether developers and direct contractors utilize the provision to break up their contracts into phases. If that is done, however, mechanics lien claimants could be caught with their pants down, as they will think they are on a single continuous construction project, but really working on separate projects requiring separate notices and separate liens…and thus, having separate mechanics lien deadlines.