Trying to file a mechanics lien in Kansas on a Windfarm for property improvement related to delivery of windfarm components. However, the project involves multiple land parcels where each component was delivered
Feb 5, 2019
This is a very messy aspect of mechanics lien law, and one that, unfortunately, doesn't generally have a very good answer. The general rule is that absent a specific statutory provision allowing for a single lien against multiple properties, the best practice is usually to file a separate lien against each specific individual property on which the labor or material was furnished, apportioned by the value delivered to each.
Even in situation where a lien against multiple properties is allowed, like in California, there are certain requirements that must be met; i.e. there is one owner, the work was performed under one contract, the value of the labor/material is divided in proportion to the work done for each property, etc. This means that while a claimant could potentially save on filing fees in such a situation, the preparatory work for the lien is still burdensome.
These situations routinely arise for work done on large-scale projects with respect to utility work. Windfarms, solar installations, power line work, and more all make it difficult to specifically identify the property and determine the value provided to each. Further issues can arise on such projects related to the fact that public utilities (or P# projects) can be subject to restrictions on the ability to claim liens.
One potential saving grace is that oftentimes these large-scale projects are bonded. If the project has a payment bond, the ability to file a lien may be limited in favor of making a bond claim. The bond claim security does not require the identification of all parcels and apportionment of the work, because the security is derived from the bond itself, rather than the improved property. It is always best practice on such projects to check for a payment bond on such projects in order to get a better grasp on the available security.