The job was never finished but there has been no work or materials to the site for about a year. No demand for payment and no lien rights notices have been given. Have the lien rights expired? And do I have to formally finalize the job in any way?
Jun 12, 2020
Nevada has a weird mechanics lien deadline. As you may know, the deadline is the later of the two following dates: (1) 90 days after project completion; or (2) 90 days after the claimant's last furnishing date. Granted, the deadline will be shortened if a Notice of Completion gets filed. So, if the last furnishing date was before the project is completed, and if no Notice of Completion was filed, then the deadline will be based on project completion.
When does project "completion" occur in Nevada?
NRS § 108.22116 states that completion will occur at any of the following dates:
(1) The occupation or use of the owner, accompanied by the cessation of all work on the project;
(2) The acceptance of the project by the owner, accompanied by a cessation of all work on the project; or
(3) The cessation of all work for 30 consecutive days, provided a Notice of Completion is recorded and served and the work isn't resumed under the same contract.
Based on the above, if the owner hasn't begun occupying the project, or if they haven't accepted the project as complete, then the project may still be considered complete after a 30-day work stoppage. But, that will only be the case if the owner timely recorded and served a Notice of Completion. Notably, though - if they filed that Notice of Completion, then the deadline would be shortened anyway.
So, if the owner hasn't begun occupying the project or otherwise outwardly accepted the project as complete, there's a good chance that the mechanics lien deadline hasn't begun to run.
Sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is required and could lead to payment all by itself
First: Nevada mechanics lien claimants must send a Notice of Intent to Lien before filing a lien on residential property. That Notice of Intent must be sent at least 15 days before the lien gets filed. So, in order to file a valid lien, that step will need to be taken.
Notably, sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is a great tool for payment recovery, all by itself. So, sending that lien notice could force the customer's hand while letting you avoid the headaches lien claims can bring. Or, it could at least bring them to the negotiating table.
Additional resources on Nevada mechanics lien claims