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May a lien be placed against unrelated assets?

WashingtonMechanics LienRight to Lien

Hello- We incurred expenses to supply and repair a marina owned by a developer. The developer does not own the marina per se - it is not on land. We have not been paid for these funds. Can we place the lien against other lands that the developer owes? Therefore against the other unrelated land?

1 reply

Dec 12, 2018
The question of what property or assets are subject to be encumbered by a mechanics lien comes up often.

A mechanics lien is a statutory protection given to secure the value of labor or material furnished to improve real property. The security provided by law is an interest in the improved property itself. Because of this, the property subject to a mechanics lien only extends to the improved property. Other property, or other assets, may not be validly encumbered by a mechanics lien filed by a party working on different property.

There may be other ways to secure amounts due, however. A UCC lien could potentially collateralize other property - but a UCC lien must be prospectively agreed to by the contracting party.

That being said, whether a party contracted with the property owner or not, the improved land can be subject to a mechanics lien. One of the powers of a mechanics lien is that the property itself is encumbered, and everyone up-the-chain, including the property owner, is involved.

Improvements appurtenant to the property, even if something like a dock or other structure over water, generally are susceptible to mechanics liens as long as the other statutory requirements are met.
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