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GC relocated our workers- where do we lien?

TexasRight to Lien

We worked as the sub-sub for a subcontractor on a Texas project. We are a staffing company that provides labor for jobsites. Back in August, the subcontractor relocated our workers to another jobsite, but did not notify us. We continued to bill the hours to the initial jobsite for a few months hours, as we were unaware our workers were relocated. We are approaching a lien deadline for the initial project as we have not been fully paid for the labor we supplied (the customer agreed to an installment plan but there is still a large amount outstanding due.) If we wanted to proceed with filing a lien for this work, on what property would it be filed? Where our workers started, or where they were re-directed, or both?

2 replies

Mar 4, 2019
That's a really interesting question, and I'm sorry to hear you've had to hunt down payment like this. Ultimately, mechanics lien rights arise when work is performed to improve property and is not paid for - and lien rights will pertain to the property that's been improved. so, in a situation where some work was provided to one property, and other work was provided to another property, lien rights might arise against both properties. However, note that the right to lien to a given property won't exceed the amount of work that was performed at that property. i.e. Work performed on one property cannot give rise to lien rights on some other, unrelated property. For more on Texas lien rights, this resource should be helpful: Texas Lien & Notice FAQs.
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Mar 6, 2019
I wanted to add some additional information here - but before I do, I should remind you that I'm not able to advise you on how to proceed in your specific situation. However, hopefully this information will help you come to your own conclusions on the matter. First, while lien rights may arise in multiple properties where work was performed on them, the Texas notice rules still apply - and a valid and enforceable Texas mechanics lien cannot be filed if notice was required and not sent for the particular property/project. Second, mechanics lien rights arise due to work performed and unpaid that has been provided to the particular property where the lien will be filed - a property cannot be encumbered due to work performed at another completely unrelated property. Finally, many claimants have found that the mere warning or threat of lien (via a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien) can help to compel payment – regardless of whether the claimant can or will later file a mechanics lien. When sent to a claimant’s nonpaying customer, the GC, and the property owner, more parties are made aware of the debt that’s owed, and those parties will all want to avoid a potential lien claim on the property. As a result, often, an owner and a GC will put additional pressure on the nonpaying party to resolve the payment dispute. Lastly, the inability to file a valid and enforceable lien does not mean payment can’t be recovered – it simply means that filing a mechanics lien is likely not the best option. While mechanics liens are cheaper and procedurally easier and more efficient than other forms of recovery, they’re not right for every situation. This article discusses some other options where a lien filing might not be available - including some ways to bolster a promise to pay.
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