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Can an unlicensed contractor file a lien on a property with valid proof of the amount owed in Cobb County GA?

GeorgiaRight to Lien

I’m a real Estate investor that does flips in Cobb County, GA. I contractor doing work on the house filed a lien on a property after he found out the house was under contract from his sister who worked in the office with my agent. The new owners were moving from an apartment and had given their notice to leave. We didn’t have sufficient time to fight it off so he collected $29,500 at the closing with no proof of the amount being actually owed.

1 reply

Nov 5, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. In Georgia, if licensing is required for the work being provided, the party providing that work must be licensed. Unlicensed contractors (where licensure is required) are not able to file a valid mechanics lien. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean they can't file a lien - recorders offices typically have neither the power nor the bandwidth to investigate each claim filed. So it's entirely possible that a contractor could file a lien even if they've lost their right to lien due to being unlicensed - but such a lien would very likely be enforceable and could be challenged by the property owner. If the contractor intentionally files a lien they know is improper, a lien might even be considered fraudulent. Unfortunately, when time is tight, owners might not be able to fight off a lien claim. The following two articles from zlien should be helpful: How Do You Remove A Frivolous Mechanics Lien? and Is a Contractor License in Georgia Required?
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