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Do i qualify for a lien?

UtahLien DeadlinesMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

My company provided consultng and budgeting services for a developer. We provided a modular constrction solution. The developer chose not go modular. We have an executed agreement with them to provide our services. They owe us two months of fees. Can we lien the project?

1 reply

Feb 20, 2018
There are several things to consider here. In many states, there must be an actual improvement made to the property, or professional services furnished pursuant to which the improvement was actually created, in order to claim a lien. The applicability of a lien for consulting or similar management can be tenuous - especially when the project goes in a different direction.

In Utah, however, that is not necessarily the case, and a particular lien may extend to such work. Utah allows for both "preconstruction liens" and "construction liens." A “Preconstruction lien” means a lien filed for a preconstruction service - which "includes consulting, conducting a site investigation or assessment, programming, preconstruction cost or quantity estimating" and more.

However, in order to qualify for a preconstruction lien, the potential claimant must "file a notice of preconstruction service with the [Utah construction] registry no later than 20 days after the person commences providing preconstruction service for the anticipated improvement on the real property." If such notice was provided, the preconstruction lien must be filed within 90 days from completion of the preconstruction service.

If a lien is unavailable, there are still other ways to collect the amounts due, however. A breach of contract lawsuit (or a lawsuit under some other cause of action) may be the most effective way to get what you are owed, if the lien requirements cannot be met. Depending on the amount due, it may be worth exploring small claims court as an option - to reduce or eliminate the cost of an attorney.
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