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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I did some Masonry work on a Home Depot in S.C. My contract was for $550,000. The GC gave me a notice to proceed on 2 change orders. Now I am not getting paid for them. Does my lien include the retainage that is due or just the change orders.

I did some Masonry work on a Home Depot in S.C. My contract was for $550,000. The GC gave me a notice to proceed on 2 change orders. Now I am not getting paid for them. Does my lien include the retainage that is due or just the change orders.

South CarolinaMechanics LienRetainage

Not getting paid for change orders approved via e-mail

1 reply

Apr 4, 2019
Good question! Retainage policies and mechanics lien deadlines regularly create friction. On one hand, retainage is often released quite late in the project, and often, potential lien claimants have agreed to a drawn-out retainage schedule. On the other hand, mechanics lien deadlines are strict and don't tend to extend particularly long - so, if a claimant intends to include retainage in their lien claim, that might call for the payment of retainage well before a claimant's customer intended to release it. But, ultimately, mechanics lien rights are available to secure payment for work that's been performed but not been paid for. Retainage represents an amount that's actually already been earned. As a result, retainage amounts can typically be included in a mechanics lien claim. Of course, before resorting to a mechanics lien claim, many potential claimants find that sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien can be helpful to spur payment without the need for an actual lien filing. A Notice of Intent to Lien acts as a warning or threat of lien - it states that if payment isn't made soon, a lien claim will be filed. Due to the drastic nature of the mechanics lien remedy, property owners and/or customers will often be willing to talk payment in order to avoid a lien claim on their property. More on that idea here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? For more information on South Carolina's lien requirements and deadlines, this resource should be valuable: South Carolina Lien & Notice Overview.
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