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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I sold a $345,000.00 renovation in Nassau county NY, for a licensed GC. He owes me 10% by verbal agreement which is the industry standard. he has defaulted on payment arrangements. will lien secure my interests legally?

I sold a $345,000.00 renovation in Nassau county NY, for a licensed GC. He owes me 10% by verbal agreement which is the industry standard. he has defaulted on payment arrangements. will lien secure my interests legally?

New YorkRight to Lien

I am sole officer of Results consulting LLC. , the corp for which I sold the job for GC. (RJD). Too Much other to print. but 2 problems : only verbal agreement. and: sold 3 other jobs in may . have been paid consulting fees plus draw against commission,but is somewhat unclear what is draw and what is fees. *no sales license needed for Nassau county jobs but (Suffolk required) *He also abruptly terminated our agreement in June of 2018 apparently cause he was out of Money. Then was forced to recall me to job for consulting project manager due to homeowner throwing him off job.

1 reply

Feb 20, 2019
I'm sorry to hear about that. There's a lot going on here, but I'll tackle one specific (albeit expansive) issue here: the ability to file a New York mechanics lien. If you have additional questions at the end, please feel free to post another question and we can discuss that, too! Anyway, for New York, mechanics lien rights are pretty broadly available. Mechanics lien rights extend to every “contractor, subcontractor, laborer, materialman, landscape gardener, nurseryman or person or corporation selling fruit or ornamental trees, roses, shrubbery, vines and small fruits, who performs labor or furnishes materials for the improvement of real property.” Note, of course, that for mechanics lien rights to arise, typically, the party who would claim that lien would need to provide improvement to the property itself - so the work of consultants, <strong>much like construction managers, may or may not be deemed lienable, and will largely depend on the actual work performed. As for the need for a written contract - obviously, it's always preferable to get an agreement in writing. Without one, amounts due and scope of work can turn into a tug of war or vicious game of "he-said, she-said". That being said, the failure to execute a written contract does not appear to be fatal to a potential mechanics lien claimant. Though, it may be a lot harder to prove what costs should go into the given mechanics lien. Another important consideration will be the deadline for filing a New York lien. For New York claimants, that deadline will depend on the project specifics. Generally, a mechanics lien can be filed at any time - but they must be completed within 8 months of the completion of the claimant's contract, their last furnishing, or the final performance of work on the project - whichever date comes earliest. That is, unless the project is a single-family residence - in which case, the deadline to file a lien would be shortened to 4 months. For any other questions you may have about filing a New York mechanics lien, here are two resources that should be valuable: (1) New York Lien & Notice FAQs; (2) <a href="http://How to File a New York Mechanics Lien" rel="noopener" target="_blank">How to File a New York Mechanics Lien. Further, it's also worth noting that regardless of whether a mechanics lien may or may not be a viable option, the mere threat of a lien filing will often work to compel payment. zlien discusses that idea here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? Plus, outside of the mechanics lien process, there are always other options for recovery.
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