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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I have a friend that I took him to do some construction at my house and he gave me a fair price so we started the work, after a month i realized that he’s way over the budget so I told him to stop coming and I finished it all by my self , now he’s coming and saying that he did not take any money from the money I gave him and he wants to get paid and if I don’t he’ll put a lien on the house, what am I supposed to do??

I have a friend that I took him to do some construction at my house and he gave me a fair price so we started the work, after a month i realized that he’s way over the budget so I told him to stop coming and I finished it all by my self , now he’s coming and saying that he did not take any money from the money I gave him and he wants to get paid and if I don’t he’ll put a lien on the house, what am I supposed to do??

New Jersey

I need to know if he can put a lien or not.

1 reply

Aug 28, 2018
This sounds like a frustrating situation, I'm sorry you find yourself needing to navigate it. Mechanics liens are an incredibly powerful tool provided to construction pariticipants to ensure they get paid for their work. Every state has determined that protecting the ability of project participants to get paid is worth allowing them an interest in the improved property itself that can even be foreclosed upon to satisfy the debt. Generally speaking, every participant who furnishes labor and/or material toward the permanent improvement of a property is entitled to claim a mechanics lien. However, since mechanics liens are such a powerful remedy, there are specific rules and requirements that must be met in order to claim a valid and enforceable lien. New Jersey is no exception, and with respect to residential property, New Jersey has some of the toughest prerequisites to filing a lien of any state. Usually, a party that contracts directly with the property owner does not need to send any sort of notice prior to filing a lien claim itself. In New Jersey in order to claim a lien on residential property, a claimant must first: 1) file a Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien by lodging for record the Notice within 60 days following the last date that work, services, material or equipment were provided; and 2) within 10 days of filing the Notice of Unpaid Balance, serve a demand for arbitration and fulfill all the requirements and procedures of the American Arbitration Association to institute an expedited proceeding before a single arbitrator designated by the American Arbitration Association. Only after the arbitrator returns a decision related to the validity and amount of a proper lien claim can the lien itself be filed. If this is all met, the lien must be filed within 120 days of the date the claimant last furnished labor or materials to the project. If any of these steps are missed or completed improperly or untimely, or the arbitrator doesn't award a valid lien, no lien may be filed.
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