Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I filed a lien last year and me and the owner agreed to proceed and I did some more work. Can I still add the cost of the first work on the current lien I am about to file
I filed a lien last year and me and the owner agreed to proceed and I did some more work. Can I still add the cost of the first work on the current lien I am about to file
Owner ended up not sticking to the deal so I was going to quit and file another lien.
Mar 20, 2018
This is a tough one, and it may come down to (1) whether the project is considered one continuous work or two separate works of improvement; and/or (2) the status of the previously filed lien. In Arkansas, like many states, the deadline to file a mechanics lien is based off of the claimant's last furnishing. A mechanics lien must be filed within 120 days of the claimant's last "substantial" work on the project. So, if considered one project, a mechanics lien could include sums that were previously owed and unpaid on the project since the claimant's "last 'substantial' work" wouldn't occur until the very end of that claimant's work on a project. However, if considered two separate works of improvement, there would be two separate lien filing deadlines. A good indicator, though not necessarily a black and white rule, is whether work was performed under two separate agreements or under one agreement. Of course, change orders to an initial agreement or an amendment of the contract would likely fall under one agreement. If it isn't obvious whether work was done pursuant to one agreement (include change orders or amendments) or two separate agreements, it may be wise to consult a local attorney familiar construction law and contract law. As a final note, a previous mechanics lien filing that is no longer enforceable will not necessarily block another lien filing - take a look at our article on the subject, Can I Re-File a Mechanics Lien After I Remove the Lien? However, if a previously filed lien exists and remains enforceable, it may not be wise to file a second lien that includes some of the same amounts. Such a filing could lead to a lien being considered improper or fraudulent - and penalties for such a filing can be steep. Further, if the lien was released, the language of any filed lien release could very well impact the ability to file another mechanics lien on the amounts included in a previous lien. We discuss that idea in depth in this article: Can I Re-File a Mechanics Lien After I Remove the Lien?