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How do we file a lien on a residence?

1 month ago

One of our clients has given us permission to file a lien on her personal homes because they haven’t paid us on a restaurant we built for them.

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
180 reviews

Mechanics lien claims attach to the project property to secure payment for work done at that property. And, the ability to lien arises strictly against the project property because that’s the specific property the unpaid work improved. So, a mechanics lien claim cannot be filed against a property which is not the project property where work was performed – even if a customer has given explicit permission to file a lien against their property.

However, it is entirely possible for a customer to secure the right to payment in some other way in order to avoid a mechanics lien against a given project. In fact, Levelset wrote about some options for doing so here: Don’t Want to File a Mechanics Lien? Here Are 5 Other Options. As mentioned in that article, if a claimant is able to secure payment with something like a promissory note, personal guarantee, or settlement agreement with a confession of judgment – then it might make sense to forgo the pursuit of a mechanics lien. Further, a customer could always explicitly provide a lien against their own property in exchange for the debt then file that lien in the county records (similarly to how a mechanics lien is filed).

For help drawing up the necessary paperwork to secure payment without a lien, though, it’d be wise to consult a local California construction attorney. They’ll be able to make sure the paperwork accurately reflects the agreement and situation.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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