I want to file a lien on a residential property that I believe is where the owner resides. It’s been MONTHS almost years that he doesn’t pay balance over $5K. It’s for a tile roof on his new construction home. Can I file a lien?? Since I see certain obstacles are when it’s residential.
Unfortunately, if you performed this work months ago and you didn't send the homeowner the statutory notice required to file a lien, you are probably going to be out of luck.
However, that doesn't mean you are out of options here. One of the more effective tools at obtaining payment is sending the notice of intent to lien (even if you are past the deadline) and include a demand for payment within your notice. This can have the effect of scaring the homeowners into paying you what they owe to avoid the possibility of a lien being filed on their home and foreclosed on.
If that doesn't work, you can hire a lawyer to send a demand letter with the law firm's letterhead. This is also an effective way at scaring someone into paying and it carries the real threat of legal action being taken.
Another route is filing a lawsuit. It sounds to me like you have a valid breach of contract claim. You can file a lawsuit in small claims court to collect payment. If you have an LLC, corporation, or any type of business entity registered with the Texas Secretary of State, you will need to hire a lawyer to represent the company, as Texas does not allow business entities to be represented pro se. I understand that hiring a lawyer may not be worth it if you are only owed $5,000, but some law firms work on a contingency and don't require any payment up front.
If you feel you need help from a lawyer, please feel free to give us a call at Murphy Legal. We have very experienced construction attorneys and handle cases all across Texas. Our phone number is (979) 690-0800.
Good luck to you!