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Can I file a lien for swimming pool repair and cleaning (removal of mustard algae)customer paid about 70% of the total invoice

KansasMechanics LienNotice of Intent to LienRight to Lien

There was no estimate on this job....customer had spent a lot of money on chemicals to remove mustard algae...pool looked like pea soup.....I said no way, not my forte....3 phone calls later I said ok.Took longer than she expected.....water was crystal clear and all algae was removed!

1 reply

Jul 16, 2019
I'm sorry to hear you haven't been paid in full for your work - everyone should be paid what they've earned. Generally, mechanics liens will only apply when work has been done which permanently improves the underlying project property. So, in many cases, there may be question as to whether a claimant would be entitled to file a mechanics lien for work done on a swimming pool that's already been built and installed.

However, under § 60-1103A(a)(1) of the Kansas mechanics lien statute, an "improvement of residential property" includes "Improvement of a preexisting structure in which the owner resides at the time the claimant first furnishes labor, equipment, material or supplies and which is not used or intended for use as a residence for more than two families or for commercial purposes or improvement or construction of any addition, garage, fence, swimming pool, outbuilding or other improvement appurtenant to such a structure..." So, when work is done to "improve" a swimming pool on a Kansas residential property, that work may well be lienable. Of course, keep in mind that the definition of what it means to "improve" property can vary a bit - and that in order for property to be considered "improved", a permanent or lasting improvement must generally be made - and maintenance-type work typically won't rise to the level of being considered an improvement.

Before jumping to a mechanics lien filing, though - it's worth noting that a Notice of Intent to Lien can often work to compel payment without the need for an actual lien filing. By sending a warning or threat to file a lien, a potential lien claimant can show the property owner that they're serious about recovering payment and that the claimant won't go unpaid without a fight. When an owner understands that their property title might be on the line, they may be more willing to pay what's owed without going through the headache and costs of dealing with a lien filing. Plus, if it's unsuccessful, a claimant can always proceed with their lien claim. More on that idea here: What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien and Should You Send One?

If you decide that a mechanics lien is the right move for recovery, here are two great resources:
(1) Kansas Mechanics Lien Overview
(2) How to File a Kansas Mechanics Lien A Practical Guide
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