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Can parties I don't know but the vendor hired lien my property?

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

A Sears air conditioning rep told me that if I go with other vendors like Costco, they will ask a local vendor to fulfill the installation of the unit. There is a chance that the vendor will further subcontract the job to another company. He said that if Costco paid the vendor but it does not pay the subcontractor, or the provider of the equipment, the subcontractor and distributor can put a lien on my place. Is it true in California?

1 reply

Aug 24, 2017
Thanks for your question. That statement is basically true. Generally, parties in California that furnish labor or material to a project of improvement can file a lien against the property. In order to retain the right to file a lien, though, they must comply with strict notice and timing requirements. All parties *other* than the party that contracts with you as the homeowner are required to give you notice that they are on the project, within 20 days of when they start work.

In your specific example, the party that furnished the unit and the parties contracted to install the unit would be able to file liens if they were unpaid and if they followed all the statutory formalities and requirements of filing a lien. In California, suppliers to suppliers likely don't have lien rights - so someone that provides the unit to someone else that provides the unit to the sub installing it would likely not be able to file a valid lien. You can find out more about the timing requirements here:

Liens are rare, however, though a possibility of liens exist no matter who you have install the unit, it Also, in the even that a lien is filed, an cause of action would exist to recover any amount you were forced to pay twice from the GC or party that failed to pay.
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