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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>If a contractor doesn’t fulfill his job per quote agreed upon, and you refuse to pay in full (deducted costs to fulfill quote) , can he file a mechanic lean on your home?

If a contractor doesn’t fulfill his job per quote agreed upon, and you refuse to pay in full (deducted costs to fulfill quote) , can he file a mechanic lean on your home?

TexasMechanics LienPayment Disputes

Contract didn’t fulfill everything promised per quote, I deducted cleaning costs, material etc to complete the work by another contractor. Then paid him the difference which he refused. So now he’s threatening to file a mechanic lien on my home.

1 reply

Jul 16, 2018
That's a tough situation. Before getting too far into whether or not such a claim would be valid, it's worth noting that a lien filing can likely occur regardless of whether the underlying claim is valid. County recorders offices often lack both the bandwidth and the authority to thoroughly scrutinize every claim filed. Anyway, as to whether such a lien would be valid, that is a tough determination, and ultimately, would likely be up to a court (if the claim progressed that far). Under § 53-023 of the Texas Property Code, a mechanics lien secures payment for: "(1) the labor done or material furnished for the construction or repair; (2) the specially fabricated material, even if the material has not been delivered or incorporated into the construction or repair, less its fair salvage value; or (3) the preparation of a plan or plat by an architect, engineer, or surveyor" When an owner and contractor have agreed to a price for that work and some of that price has gone unpaid, a claimant will likely have the right to file a lien on the unpaid amount. Of course, such a lien filing can be challenged by the owner and liened amounts may be disputed. But even when workmanship is in dispute, a lien filing can be validly filed. Before a lien filing occurs, it might be wise to negotiate a deal with a contractor threatening to file. Once a lien claim is filed, it's typically a good idea to consult a local construction attorney about the matter. They will be able to review the circumstances and documentation then advise on how to move forward.
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