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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>If a country club has their landscape department buy plant material for installation on their own grounds, which includes the recreational areas, is this commercial or residential ? Is Texas Lien law applicable for such a case ?

If a country club has their landscape department buy plant material for installation on their own grounds, which includes the recreational areas, is this commercial or residential ? Is Texas Lien law applicable for such a case ?

TexasMechanics LienRight to Lien

It's not common, but we do have three customers who are the actual country clubs that have an in-house landscaper. They are buying the plants to install on their own property (Swimming pool, golf course, walking paths) - and none of it goes directly to any home owners in the sub-division. I'm curious if Texas Lien Law will applicable in any way that I am the material supplier to the end user.

1 reply

Mar 26, 2019
That's a great question. First, let's look at the availability of lien rights for landscape-related work in Texas, then we'll dive into what's considered "residential" for the purposes of Texas lien laws. § 53-021 of the Texas property code sets out who is entitled to mechanics lien rights in Texas. Under § 53-021(d), a party who "provides labor, plant material, or other supplies for the installation of landscaping for a house, building, or improvement...under or by virtue of a written contract with the owner or the owner’s agent, contractor, subcontractor, trustee, or receiver..." (emphasis added) will have the right to file a mechanics lien for work performed but unpaid. Based on that section, parties who supply plant material or other supplies would appear to be entitled to mechanics lien rights (though, any other requirements for preserving a TX lien claim would still apply). Regarding common areas, generally, common areas at properties like condominiums or country clubs is not considered residential property, at least for the purposes of lien laws. Texas appears to follow this general rule. Under § 53-001(8), a "residence" is defined as "a single-family house, duplex, triplex, or quadruplex or a unit in a multiunit structure used for residential purposes that is: (A) owned by one or more adult persons; and (B) used or intended to be used as a dwelling by one of the owners." (emphasis added). Based on that definition, unless the particular property is intended for use as a residence, it sounds like that property won't be considered a "residence". Now, the definitions of "residential construction contract" and "residential construction project call this into question a little. § 53-001(9) defines a "residential construction contract" as "a contract between an owner and a contractor in which the contractor agrees to construct or repair the owner’s residence, including improvements appurtenant to the residence." (emphasis added). Then, § 53-001(10) defines "residential construction project" as "a project for the construction or repair of a new or existing residence, including improvements appurtenant to the residence, as provided by a residential construction contract." (emphasis added). While both of these definitions seem to include improvements that aren't inherently residential themselves, they both point toward an improvement related to a singular residence - which makes sense. Residences are given extra weight in the Texas Property Code because of the personal nature of residential property to the owner of that property. But, where property being improved doesn't tie directly to any particular residence, and ultimately, a lien wouldn't attach to the residence's property (but rather, the common property that was improved itself), it doesn't make much sense to require the same level of care given to residential property. For more on the Texas lien and notice requirements, including deadlines, this resource should be valuable: Texas Mechanics Lien & Notice Overview.
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