We're a subcontractor in South Carolina- having trouble getting final payment on a private job. The GC is not licensed but we are. Does South Carolina still offer lien protection for the vendors and subs of unlicensed Gcs?
Jul 18, 2019
Great question. First, as you may know, in order to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien, South Carolina lien claimants must hold the necessary licensure if a license is required for the work being performed. This is supported by § 29-5-15 of the state's mechanics lien statute.
However, that section only requires that a lien claimant hold the appropriate licensure, themselves. It's completely silent as to whether a licensed claimant who was hired by an unlicensed contractor would be entitled to file a lien. So, because the lien statute does not specifically prohibit a licensed claimant from filing a lien when their customer is unlicensed, it follows that such a claimant could likely file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien, regardless of whether their customer is properly licensed.