Can I put a lien for the full amount owed if the verbal contract was only for a part and then extra work with the added

4 weeks ago

If I had a verbal contract With people for a certain amount and the added work and asked us to do it can I put the lien for the full amount

Chief Legal Officer Levelset

The question of whether a mechanics lien is allowable in the absence of a written contract comes up often, even on the expert center. Generally, the answer is “yes.”

A written contract is only explicitly required in order to place a mechanics lien against a property in a few states, and in some of those states a written contract is only required for a lien in a couple specific circumstances.

In most cases, including in Missouri, there only needs to be work provided to improve the property subject to some agreement in order to give rise to mechanics lien rights.

The addition of “verbal change orders” or an expansion of the scope of work potentially changes the issue a bit, however. Fundamentally, the same questions apply. If the “additional” work was agreed to verbally, like the original contract, lien rights likely apply. There would be no difference between claiming a lien for the original work requested, or the subsequent additional work. The key, though, (and the difficulty with verbal contracts) is to be able to show that there was agreement to the work, such that the work was authorized. Unauthorized work does not generally give rise to lien rights, although occasionally, (but not usually) a lien can even be claimed if the work was performed by mistake.

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