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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I am a licensed Architect in Kansas. Can I file a lien on a out of state client for not paying my final design fees per the signed contract for$6600.client

I am a licensed Architect in Kansas. Can I file a lien on a out of state client for not paying my final design fees per the signed contract for$6600.client

KansasConstruction ContractPayment DisputesRight to Lien

Client stopped project, my signed contract said "If for any reason the project is stopped, the full team fees will be paid immediately". The have charged a late fee of 5% and said they would pay and now are back peddling after the invoice was sent three weeks ago. They are also terminating people or asking to negotiate. Is going into collections a better choice. Thank you Bob

1 reply

Jul 17, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. First, the mechanics lien laws of the location of the project (or proposed project) are the laws that will apply. So, without knowing where the ultimate construction of the given plans would take place, it's impossible to know whether the services provided might give rise to lien rights. On the whole, though, in states where professional services are lienable, typically, the improvement must actually commence in order to give rise to mechanics lien rights. While filing a mechanics lien may or may not be an appropriate route to recovery, there are a number of other ways to get what you're owed. For starters, even in a situation where a mechanics lien might not be a viable option, sending a threat of lien such as a Notice of Intent to Lien can be effective. Because a lien filing serves as such a drastic remedy, property owners might not be willing to call a claimants bluff. Another option might be to send a demand letter threatening legal action for breach of contract or unjust enrichment. When done via an attorney, threats like these might carry a little more "umph" and can lead to payment. If it comes down to it, filing a legal action (potentially in small claims court, but also in a traditional court) could be another route for recovery. To pursue legal action, or even to just clarify different potential routes for recovery, consulting a construction attorney could be helpful. They will be able to review your circumstances and the relevant documentation and provide advice on moving forward.
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