How can I put a lien on multiple properties?

2 weeks ago

I was hired by an HOA to replace the roof on 26 townhomes. Can I file a lien on the building as a whole or do I need to do individual liens?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

It’s pretty common for a construction business to perform a project that spans multiple properties. But, if and when a payment dispute erupts, it can be hard to tell how to proceed with making a mechanics lien claim (if one becomes necessary).

Can one mechanics lien be filed against multiple properties in Texas?

Texas explicitly allows for one lien to span multiple properties at § 53-022(a) of the Texas Property Code:

The lien extends to the house, building, fixtures, or improvements, the land reclaimed from overflow, or the railroad and all of its properties, and to each lot of land necessarily connected or reclaimed.

However, this seems to contemplate a situation where one project spans multiple lots or parcels owned by the same party.

What about when the properties have different owners?

When there are multiple, separate property owners – the safer way to proceed is typically to file a lien against each property, separately. While one lien claim may clearly span multiple lots or parcels of the same owner, the Texas Property Code doesn’t contemplate a situation where one lien attaches to entirely separate ownership interests.

Considering the risks of improperly filing a mechanics lien, it’s typically a better idea to play it safe and assume that separate liens would be needed for separate owners. And, while a lien might be deemed invalid for spanning multiple property owners – filing separate liens against each property owner is exceedingly common and a (relatively) safe option.

If there are separate contracts, separate liens should likely be filed

Further, when there are entirely separate contracts for work on the separate properties, chances are that multiple lien claims would be necessary. In that situation, while the properties may be proximate to one another, those jobs would be quite clearly entirely separate undertakings. And, as a result, lien rights would arise separately under each agreement.

Additional resources

I hope this information was helpful! Here are some additional resources I think might be helpful here:

– Filing a Lien on a Project with Multiple Properties
– Texas Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs

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