Home>Payment Q&As>In Texas, on a Residential Construction Project, can a GC claim or file a Lien on non contractual change order amounts?

In Texas, on a Residential Construction Project, can a GC claim or file a Lien on non contractual change order amounts?

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Anonymous contractor
Aug 26, 2020

I am a property owner and the GC is just finishing up a residential construction project on our property after a fire. We have a signed contract between all parties for #X dollar amount. The contract, provided by the GC, clearly states that any and all amendments or additions to the original scope or contractual amount require a formally signed change order by all parties. No such change orders exist and were never agreed upon or signed. We are requesting a conditional final payment lien waiver for the remaining contractual amount, which we have no problem issuing to the GC. However, the GC is only granting a conditional progress payment waiver even though this payment would fulfill the entire contract value, claiming that they have spent over the original Contracted value. The additional amount spent was never formally agreed upon or signed via formal change orders as required by the contract. Does the GC have the legal right to claim or file a lien for this additional amount? How can we ensure we are not liable for this additional amount? This is a result of poor cost management and the GC not following their own contract and formal change order processes.

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Anonymous contractor
Aug 28, 2020

At the end of the day, no the GC is probably not entitled to a lien, or further payment for that matter. However, in Texas nothing can stop the GC from going down to the real property office and filing a lien. From that point, you have to either negotiate its removal, or file suit to remove the lien, which is an expensive process. On the bright side, you can recover your attorney's fees for your trouble if you are forced down that road.

I assist folks in negotiating these situations with some regularity. Feel free to reach me directly if you'd like to discuss this matter further.

Very best,

Ben House

281-762-1377

ben@houseperron.com

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