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I’m a licensed contractor who is not getting paid for work performed & completed per contract

CaliforniaMechanics LienRight to Lien

Can I file a lien against his property for non payment, what are my options? Can you please advise. Thank you.

1 reply

Aug 1, 2019
Great question. But, before getting too far along, I should mention that I'm not able to advise you on how to proceed. But I am able to provide information that should be helpful in coming to your own determinations.

Generally, the answer is yes - licensed California general contractors are entitled to file a mechanics lien when they go unpaid for their work. Though, if there was a lender on the job, a GC must send a preliminary notice to that lender in order to later file a mechanics lien. In California, a general contractor can file a mechanics lien after the project is completed and within 90 days of the completion of the work. Note that this timeframe can be shortened to 60 days if a Notice of Completion or Cessation is filed.

Note, though, that sending a lien warning or threat of a mechanics lien will often be enough to compel payment, and claimants are often able to avoid actually filing a lien by first sending a Notice of Intent to Lien. A Notice of Intent to Lien acts a lot like a warning shot - it informs the property owner that nonpayment won't be tolerated and that if push comes to shove, a mechanics lien will be filed on the job. You can learn more about that here: What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien and Should You Send One?.

For a little more information on California's mechanics lien rules, here are some helpful resources:
(1) California Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs
(2) How to File A California Mechanics Lien – Step By Step Guide To Get You Paid

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