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Do lien rights expire for a retention payment?

California

If say in Arizona, our lien rights are based off of substantial completion our retention payment should be covered under that time line right? But what about a state where rights expire based off of our last day on site? Our lien rights expire before we receive our final retention payment? Do we then lose our rights to that? Or is it because it was retention from time previously on site is it always covered? And how do we go about filing a lien to a GC on our final payment if our rights have expired?

1 reply

May 19, 2021
That’s a good question. In California, the lien rights are based upon completion of the entire project, not just when a particular subcontractor’s work is done. Sometimes you have to file a lien for the retention before the retention is actually due. Since the retention is generally due 35 days after completion of the project, and a sub’s lien rights expire after 30 days, you can’t always wait to file the lien. You have to make a business decision as to whether or not you want to rock the boat by filing a lien. You may want to take into account how well the job went, and your prior experience with the GC. If you know the job is in trouble, you may want to file the lien. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about this.
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