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Is a lien for payment enforceable?

IdahoMechanics Lien

A sprinkler contractor performed work on my home sprinkler system, but ended up doing more damage to it. I fired that company and refused to pay them for the work they performed. I then hired another company to repair the damage done. The first contractor filed a lien for services performed 4 months after they were last on my property. Is this lien enforceable and do I need to pay this company?

1 reply

Sep 28, 2020
In general, a mechanics lien is an appropriate remedy to recover the reasonable cost of any labor or materials furnished for the improvement of the property. If, they provided either and weren't paid, a lien may be placed against the property; even if the quality of the work is disputed. However, if the contractor goes through with their claim and files an enforcement action, evidence of the sub-standard work can be introduced to reduce or completely offset the amount of the claim. You should hang on the all estimates, invoices, receipts, and related documentation for both the original and the replacement contractor. One additional thing to point out. Depending on how accurate your "4 month" estimate is, the lien might be facially invalid. The deadline to file an Idaho mechanics lien is within 90 days after the the last date of furnishing labor or materials to the project. Check the lien filing date and compare it to the last date the contractor was on your property performing work. If beyond the 90-day limit, you should send a demand letter for the release of the claim, citing the appropriate statute. (Idaho Code §45-507). If they refuse to release the invalid claim, you will likely have to petition the court for the release. In either scenario, you should consult with a local construction attorney to discuss your options moving forward, as some form of legal action seems to be inevitable. We have a few Idaho-based construction attorneys in our Levelset Community that you can reach out to personally, or the Idaho Bar Association Referral Service.
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