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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I was contacted by a house flipper who needed help with work on a forclosed property. I was clear from the beginning and said i was not a company nor was insured but would be interested to help him if he paid per project instead of per hour in cash. He agreed to the terms and pricing. I finished all projects with a little up front. Been over a month and i have not been paid the pending balance which is over 7000 dollars. What can i do since i am not insured since im not a company. Out of good will i did all this work thinking the guy would keep his word and pay once work was completed. Can i claim a mechanical lean all tho im not a company?

I was contacted by a house flipper who needed help with work on a forclosed property. I was clear from the beginning and said i was not a company nor was insured but would be interested to help him if he paid per project instead of per hour in cash. He agreed to the terms and pricing. I finished all projects with a little up front. Been over a month and i have not been paid the pending balance which is over 7000 dollars. What can i do since i am not insured since im not a company. Out of good will i did all this work thinking the guy would keep his word and pay once work was completed. Can i claim a mechanical lean all tho im not a company?

New YorkRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

Can i claim a mechanical lien although i am not a company and just a laborer. The job is in center moriches long island ny.

1 reply

Jul 9, 2018
That's a great question, and it's one we approach pretty often here at the Construction Legal Center, as well as the Construction Payment Blog. First: in New York, laborers are entitled to mechanics lien rights under § 3 of the New York mechanics lien statute. Further, § 1 of the New York lien statute defines a laborer as "any person who performs labor or services upon such improvement." Thus, an individual laborer - regardless of whether they're employed by or organized as a company - may be entitled to lien rights. Of course, as we mention in our New York Mechanics Lien and Notice FAQs, if licensure is required for the type of work provided, the person providing that work must have the appropriate license in order to file a lien. New York tends to be very strict on this front. It's worth noting, though, that jumping straight to a mechanics lien filing might not be necessary to recover payment. Instead, many parties first send demand letters or a Notice of Intent to Lien to enforce payment. Because mechanics liens are such a drastic remedy, the mere threat to file a lien is often enough to compel payment. Plus, if the warning is ignored, a claimant can still proceed with their lien. Finally, note that there are other other options for recovery when a lien cannot be filed or after a lien is rejected.
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