can contractor lein property for more that what is owed on original quote?

2 weeks ago

I had concrete work done – it wasn’t done to the drawing submitted – he didn’t roll the sod (on quote – we kept it – he only cut it) – width is short 8″ to 1′, outer edge thickness quoted 6″ slab – vary 3″ – 6″…. and list goes on and on.

I am trying to negotiate a settlement with contractor. He will only warranty work and complete a repair if I pay full amount.

Can the contractor lien property for more than what is owed on original quote?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

If there’s a contract for the work being provided, then a Colorado mechanics lien will be limited to what’s owed pursuant to the contract price under CRS § 38-22-101(2). However, if there’s no contract for the work and only a quote was given – then the amount of a mechanics lien might not be limited to that quote. Generally, quotes themselves won’t always be binding (after all – it is a quote and not a price).

In either event – a lien claimant will only be entitled to file a mechanics lien based on the work they’ve performed and the amounts they’re owed for that work. So, if a lien claimant is merely inflating the price of their work in order to file a more substantial lien, then that lien would ultimately be invalid and unenforceable since it’s exaggerated.

So, ultimately: If a contractor exceeded their original quote, but did so in earnest – they may be able to file a mechanics lien above what their original quote was. But, if a contractor has inflated the price of their work, exaggerating their lien claim would render the claim invalid and unenforceable.

An improper lien could still be filed, challenged

Note, though, that even where a mechanics lien would be exaggerated or unenforceable, it could still get filed. County recorder offices will generally have neither the bandwidth nor the authority to investigate each claim that’s filed with their office. Granted, if an improper or fraudulent lien is filed, the owner can generally challenge that lien claim. And, if the lien is deemed improper, then the claimant could face serious liability.

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