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I need to file a lien against a family member on their share of property on which I reside.

IdahoRight to Lien

My brother owns 25% interest in the property I live on. He has paid nothing in 12 years and now wants to move on to the property. I own 50% and his share of maintenance is in excess of 40k

1 reply

Feb 20, 2019
I'm sorry to hear about your trouble - I know situations like these can be very frustrating, especially when it's family. However, it's important to consider the ultimate purpose and function of mechanics liens before deciding on utilizing the remedy. Mechanics liens provide payment security for those who perform construction work that permanently improves property but go unpaid for their work. Very typically, the remedy is for contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, etc. in the construction industry who have a contract for the work being performed, but their customer fails to pay them pursuant to the agreement. Where property is being "improved" by a co-owner, mechanics liens might not always be the most appropriate option since liens really arise due to the expectation of payment. Further, liens secure payment for permanent improvements - regular maintenance to property that must be made on a recurring basis will typically not give rise to mechanics lien rights. What's more, where a prospective lien claimant has not actually provided work, but rather only paid for improvements or maintenance, mechanics lien rights typically will not arise. Further, it's also important to consider the deadline for filing a lien claim when work has been spread out over a long period of time. Particularly, a mechanics lien must be filed within 90 days of the date when they last supplied labor or materials to the project - and the deadline tends to be strict. Of course, none of this information is to say that there isn't some form of lien or encumbrance that'd be available for funding maintenance work for a co-owned property for an extended period of time. However, a mechanics lien claim might not be the most appropriate option. For clarity on other potential options for recovery, outside of a mechanics lien, these online resources should be helpful: Avvo and JustAnswer. At both sites, lawyers are available to answer questions on a multitude of topics. For more information on Idaho mechanics liens, this resource breaks them down well: Idaho Mechanics Lien & Notice FAQs (plus statutes).
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