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Can we file a mechanics lien for managing water & waste water plants?

Texas

We manage water & waste water plants and also construct and add (expand) these plants. I know we can lien the construction or addition to these plants but what about the monthly charges to maintain the plants. We have contracts that we will maintain the plants for $ XXX.00/month. We add chemicals and repair wires and piping that breaks or leaks. We also do construction for MUD (Municipal Utility Districts) Are they a public entity and thus we have no lien rights?

1 reply

Oct 13, 2021

The legal analysis would start with a review of your contract, and then extend to an analysis of the character of your project (commercial owned by a private owner or public owned by a governmental entity), and then to the nature of the work at issue, and to any communications which have occurred.

Typically, management and maintenance do not qualify for mechanic's liens.

Typically, a municipal utility district is a governmental entity and the property that it owns is public property, not private property.

You really should retain a construction attorney to review and evaluate your legal position based on the contract and pertinent documents. The right to be entitled to file a mechanic's lien is set out in Texas Property Code Chapter 53, and you really need to make sure that if you file a lien, you have properly and appropriately done so.

Filing an invalid lien could subject you to liability under the Texas Fraudulent Lien Act, and you could be liable for statutory damages of $10,000, or actual damages, whichever is greater, plus attorney's fees. Facing such a claim would add insult to injury.

Good luck.

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