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Does Installing Stairlift for custome qualifies for lien?

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

We've sold and installed new outdoor stairlift for customer. He accepted/signed the estimate he paid 10% does now is refusing to pay the rest The lift was specifically ordered for this customer. Customer first lied 'check is in the mail' Then refused to pay full amount (but didn't pay any)

1 reply

May 23, 2018
What types of work or materials qualify for lien protection is a common question. Like many things related to mechanics lien law, lien protection extends to different types of work depending on the state in which it occurred.

In California, "[a] person that provides work authorized for a work of improvement . . . has a lien right." A work of improvement "includes, but is not limited to: (1) Construction, alteration, repair, demolition, or removal, in whole or in part, of, or addition to, a building." It doesn't stop there, however. Case law provides more information and makes it clear that the work must be "permanent" in order to qualify for mechanics lien protection.

Determining whether the chairlift was a permanent improvement to the property is a question that is determined by many factors, including the intent of the party, the ease with which it could be removed, and more. The greater the possibility the chairlift was intended by the owner to remain installed, and was fixed to the property rather than being a stand-alone fixture, it is more likely that the chairlift qualifies for mechanics lien protection.

All of this, however, is dependent on the timing and formal requirements of the lien and notice process being met.

Practically, a filed lien or provided notice of intent to lien may prompt payment from the property owner to un-encumber the property without a fight over the ultimate enforceability of the lien. If the lien is challenged or demanded to be released, though, a more in-depth examination by a party with more of the facts may be required.
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