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Hello ! Do I have lien rights in MD for a roof repair that cost $8,500.00 on a house worth $250k ?

MarylandRight to Lien

Hard time getting paid for completed roof repair balance due is $5,549.49.

1 reply

Aug 20, 2018
Hi! Fair question. In Maryland, a claimant may only file a mechanics lien when their work improves the project property by 15% or more. There's a little wiggle room though for subcontractors and suppliers - if the overall general contract exceeds 15% of the property's value, then a claimant may still file a lien for their work (regardless of the amount of their own individual contract). When a project will not improve a property by 15% or more, unfortunately, a claimant may have to seek out another remedy for nonpayment. Other potential remedies may include small claims court (for disputes up to $5,000) or traditional litigation. Further, threatening to file a lien or to take legal action may help to compel payment. A Notice of Intent to Lien acts like a warning shot - it states that if payment isn't made, a lien will be filed. It's not a required notice in Maryland, and it's an easy, inexpensive first attempt at compelling payment by leveraging lien rights. Plus, if a claimant doesn't want to file a lien (or is not able to), some other course of action may be taken. Another option is to send a demand letter - potentially through an attorney - stating that legal action will be taken if payment is not made. When sent through an attorney, a demand letter will tend to carry a little extra weight. If threatening action does not compel payment, filing a lawsuit or going to small claims court may become necessary - and hiring a local construction attorney would be wise (and potentially necessary). They will be able to review your claim, the surrounding documentation, and other information and provide advice on how to move forward.
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