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Can I file a mechanic's lien on a residential project with out having sent a preliminary notice?

ArizonaMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

I am a general contractor that has completed a residential refresh on a house in preparation for sale. I have worked with this client on a variety of projects for the last 12 years and have never had a payment problem, so I didn't issue a preliminary notice. This project is more costly than she expected and she is balking on payment. What is the best route to secure payment?

1 reply

Feb 18, 2021
You only have lien rights for work done 20 days prior to sending a preliminary notice. So unless you are in the middle of the project, it is probably too late to obtain mechanic's lien rights. But that does not mean you are not owed the money. You would still have a claim for breach of contract against the homeowner. It's just that the amount you are owed is not secured by a lien on the property. Whether or not it is worth filing suit against the owner depends on (1) how much money is at stake (lawyers and lawsuits are expensive) and (2) the cost in damage to the longstanding business relationship you have with this customer (people don't like being sued or threatened with suit). Please feel free to contact me if you think you may want to look into litigation or at least the threat of litigation.
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