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Lien ability in Canada?

ArizonaMechanics LienPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

We prepared drawings for a contractor in Canada in anticipation of a supply and install contract in conjunction with the project. When they failed to contract us, we billed them for our drawings (since we found out they were using them to provide to other contractors to build our system) . They have failed to pay our invoice after acknowledging it. What avenues of recourse do we have, if any (since they're in Canada and we were never in contract)?

5 replies

Dec 11, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. First, it's worth noting that the lien laws of the location of the work performed will control. So, where a project is taking place somewhere in Canada, the lien laws of that location will apply. While Canada does, in fact, have lien laws - our expertise doesn't quite reach over the border quite yet - so I'm afraid I won't be of much use regarding Canadian lien laws. With that being said, a mechanics lien or a lawsuit could be appropriate methods for recourse, and the threat of lien or the threat of lawsuit can go a long way to compel payment. Regardless of whether a lien will be filed, sending a Notice of Intent to Lien can be effective to compel payment. Mechanics lien filings can drastically affect a property owner and even their contractor, so the threat of lien is typically taken seriously and can help to start talks to resolve the dispute. Further, sending a demand for payment and specifying specific legal action can go a long way to compel payment since nobody wants to deal with a lawsuit either - and sending such a demand via an attorney can provide a little extra "umph". Finally, considering the unique variables here, it would likely be wise to reach out to an attorney to discuss potential legal routes for recovery such as suit. If you're interested in the mechanics lien route, it'd likely be a good idea to seek out an attorney that is local to the project to discuss the lien rights that may relate to the project. Finding a lawyer in another country can be daunting, but there are tools available online - such as JustAnswer - that make it a bit easier.
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Jun 25, 2020
Hi Matthew, this is helpful! what would happen if we recieved a PO from a Canadian vendor and work was performed in California. Could we send the Canadian Vendor a preliminary notice just as a precaution? If so, how can I do this through levelset?
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Jul 28, 2020
Your lien rights (and notice requirements) will always be governed by the state (or country) where the project is located - not where the contractor resides. So if the work was performed in California, you should follow California's mechanics lien requirements. You don't need to send a preliminary 20-day notice to your vendors (those who you hire to supply labor or materials to the project), but to the parties above you on the job. In California, "Subcontractors and suppliers in California must serve a preliminary notice on the owner, prime contractor, and lender (if any) within 20 days of first providing materials or labor."
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Sep 23, 2020
I am zohra working in Bangladesh as a Govt.employee i am a single mother .i want to settle in Canada with my two children.If i could find any job in Canada then i could land there.
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Apr 21, 2022
I'd recommend www.Lien-Pro.com in Canada
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