I paid out of pocket for renovations, new bedroom floors, wife's bedroom...I paid for the materials and the labor...estimated around $ 2500.00 plus additional monies for various upgrades 1/3 of $ 1,000.00 for gutter cleaning and guards.
May 27, 2020
First, mechanic lien rights might not be the most appropriate solution in situations where payment wasn't expected in exchange for work. Generally, lien rights are available to the extent that payment is owed but not paid. And, when there's no contract for the work, and when it's not clear that payment was discussed, a claim like unjust enrichment might make more sense.
Further, keep in mind that New York residential mechanics liens have a deadline of 4 months - so work done well in advance would likely result in missed lien deadlines.
If you're serious about pursuing payment from your ex brother in law, then consulting with a New York construction attorney about potential claims would be a good first step.