As a design professional we completed drawings for a tenant, the space is located within a shopping center. We have a signed agreement and completed the submittal and obtained approval from the landlord. We have not submitted to the city due to lack of payment and construction has started without a permit. We are trying to collect on the remaining payment of $5000 and thought a mechanic's lien would be the best solution. Project is in Los Angeles. Thank you!
Since construction has commenced, you likely do not have a design professionials lien any longer (see https://www.levelset.com/payment-help/question/how-do-i-file-a-design-professional-lien-in-california/) but you may indeed have a mechanics lien right. You may want to quickly send a notice of intent to record a mechanics lien before you actually record the mechanics lien.