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Lien in California for Mitigation Services

2 months ago

Our question is, for our California branches, are our Mitigation (cleaning, sanitizing, drying) balances eligible for the filing of a lien. These jobs do not include the repair or restoration portion of the job. We have been advised that these services/balances are ineligible because there are no materials provided that contribute to the repair of the property.

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: General Contractor
Project Type: Residential
Attorney Ostergar Law Group PC
11 reviews

Typical cleaning services are not eligible for mechanic’s lien rights. If the services are part of a “work of improvement” then they may be eligible. It depends upon the character of your work and the character of the project. The consequences of recording a lien in good faith where you ultimately cannot enforce it may not be severe, depending upon your contract, because recording a lien is a privileged act. However, recording a false lien could subject you to criminal and civil penalties.

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: Any responses to questions do not create an attorney client relationship, and until a retainer agreement is signed no response should be considered legal advise to a client. Email - tjulander@ostergar.com. Phone - 949-510-2472.
Attorney Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah, Inc.
46 reviews

If your work is in furtherance of a work of improvement then it would arguably qualify for a lien. That means if your cleaning, sanitizing, drying etc., is done in connection with a broader project that involves improving the property through repair, restoration, or other construction, then you would qualify for a lien.
See United Rentals Northwest, Inc. v. Snider Lumber Products, Inc. (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 1479, 1485 [“’the entire structure or scheme of improvement as a whole’ also does not mean that the removal or demolition of buildings is not a work of improvement”]

Disclaimer: NOTE: The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. The content contained herein is published online for informational purposes only, may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements, and does not constitute legal advice. Do not act on the information contained herein without seeking the advice of licensed counsel. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship and is neither intended to constitute an advertisement nor a solicitation.
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