we have done labor installation on a project in Charlottesville Va and wan to file a lien
we were working under a sub-contractor to a licensed prime GC.
May 3, 2018
That's a good question. Virginia is very strict when it comes to licensing requirements. First, if licensing is required for the work that a claimant performs, that claimant must be properly licensed. Otherwise, filing a valid a mechanics lien might not be possible. Further, as you'd hinted at above, all parties up the chain from a claimant must also be licensed. Thus, if a claimant is hired by a subcontractor who was hired by the general contractor, both the subcontractor and the general contractor would need to be licensed for a valid lien right to exist. Again, note that these parties must only be licensed if the work they are performing requires licensure. In the event that up the chain parties were not licensed as required, it may still be worthwhile to send a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien. Even in a situation where it's unclear whether a valid lien might be filed, a Notice of Intent to Lien will notify any recipients (typically, the owner and prime contractor) that a lien might be filed if payment is not forthcoming. Attempting to call the bluff of a party who sends a Notice of Intent to Lien can be risky business - so often it will speed up the receipt of payment.