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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I performed design work (architectural) in NY State for a commercial client who is the not the property owner. My client holds a development lease on the property, and it's with him that I hold the design contract. Do I file the lien on my client's personal property or on the property owner which I performed design work?

I performed design work (architectural) in NY State for a commercial client who is the not the property owner. My client holds a development lease on the property, and it's with him that I hold the design contract. Do I file the lien on my client's personal property or on the property owner which I performed design work?

New YorkMechanics Lien

I have a contract for full-service design and construction management with a client who is developing a property that he rents through a commercial lease. Work broke off after the design phase of the project and I have unpaid invoices dating 6 months. I'd like to place a lien and would like advice on how to go about doing so.

3 replies

Jun 25, 2018
That's an interesting question, and situations can get hard to navigate when development agreements come into play. New York makes it particularly interesting, too. As discussed in this article, when someone other than the owner has authorized the work performed, lien laws get even harder to navigate. In New York, a lien will be available on the project property, even when someone other than the owner (such as a developer) has authorized the work - but only if the owner has authorized the work of improvement. Very typically, a development agreement will contemplate that construction will take place on the property to be developed, and that may serve as such an authorization (as it did in the example given in the article above). If that's the case, a claimant will likely be able to file a mechanics lien on the underlying project property. Finally, it's worth noting that a claimant's mechanics lien rights extend only to the project property, not the personal property of any party. Meaning, where lien rights exist, a lien will attach to the underlying property where the work of improvement is located - even where someone other than the owner is liable for the nonpayment. Note also that mechanics liens are typically only available for construction improvements that are actually made to real property. However, in New York, an "improvement" includes "the drawing by any architect or engineer or surveyor, of any plans or specifications or survey, which are prepared for or used in connection with such improvement" under § 2(2) of the New York mechanics lien statute. As far as how to go about filing a lien, there are many options available for claimants to file a lien. For one, zlien has free forms available here: New York Free Forms. A claimant can fill out the lien form, pay recording fees, and attempt to file themselves. Another option would be to hire an attorney to file a lien - but that is often unnecessary, and can come with great expense. Finally, via the zlien Document Navigator, a claimant can order a mechanics lien electronically.
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Jul 13, 2022

When you are a contractor, you may be asked to file a mechanic's lien on your client's personal property. This can happen when you perform design work in connection with your construction project, and the owner does not pay for the design services. I often visit to download minimal templates from this https://masterbundles.com/templates/presentations/powerpoint/minimal/ site. In this situation, you should file your mechanic's lien on the property owner rather than on the client's personal property. 

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Aug 4, 2022
If you hold the design contract for the property, and your client has a development lease on the property, then you have a lien on the property. You can file that lien with the county recording office. Visit this https://www.getresponse.com/blog/ask-customers-questions-get-feedback website to hire professional writers for your assigned projects. You can also file a notice of lien with the property owner if he is not listed as an owner on your contract.
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