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Can I file a mechanics lien on a landlord does money for remodel

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

We are tenants in a building where we have done work in Lou of rent we have a contract that is not signed by neither party we also have a partial verbal agreement they are now choosing to sale they house and do not want to pay back any money for the construction done on the property

1 reply

Jun 27, 2018
First, it's worth noting that in California, while a mechanics lien must be based on a contract, it does not need to be based on a written contract. Thus, where a contract exists but has not been signed by both parties, if those parties have verbally agreed to a contract, the contract may still give rise to lien rights. Anyway, admittedly, this is not quite a standard mechanics lien situation. Mechanics liens secure monetary amounts owed (and unpaid) to those who provide construction labor, services, and/or materials to a construction site. However, under § 8430 of the California Civil Code, the amount of a lien in California may be for the lesser of: "(1) The reasonable value of the work provided by the claimant. (2) The price agreed to by the claimant and the person that contracted for the work." So, conceivably, a party providing construction labor and/or material could file a lien for the value of what they're owed as long as "payment" has not been made. Thus, if no further compensation is expected for the work that has been provided, a lien claim would likely not be appropriate. However, if a claimant is supposed to be receiving value, they might be able to file a lien for the value owed and unpaid. Finally, it's worth noting sending a demand like a Notice of Intent to Lien can often lead to payment without having to resort to a lien filing or some other legal action. It acts as a warning shot - if payment isn't made, the party sending notice will be forced to file a lien. This notice can be effective even where filing a valid mechanics lien is ultimately not an option.
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