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Mechanics Lien in PA

PennsylvaniaLien DeadlinesMechanics LienNotice of Intent to Lien

Th oewner of the property is an LLC, they hired us to provide siding works. In the end they didn't pay in full. We wanted to file a mechanics lien against the LLC. Please, correct me if I'm worng. We have 6 months for that and first we need to send a notice of intent, than we need to serve an affidavit of notice within 20 days, and than we can file a lien within the same period. What would be a propriate affidavit of service of notice - registered mail or service by Sheriff? Thanks

1 reply

Jul 1, 2019
That's a good question, and I'm sorry to hear you've had payment issues here. Let's take a look at some of Pennsylvania's mechanics lien rules - but first, here are great resources where you can learn more about them: (1) About Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice; and (2) Pennsylvania Mechanics Lien Rules Overview.

First, I'll mention that when a mechanics lien is filed, it isn't filed against an individual business or person - rather, it's filed directly against the project property where work was performed. So, while an LLC might own the property - a lien claim wouldn't attach to that company. Rather, the lien would attach to the property that they own. It may sound like semantics, but it's an important distinction to note.

Regarding the timeframe for filing a Pennsylvania mechanics lien - all PA lien claimants must file their lien within 6 months after the completion of the claimant's work on the project. But, the requirements don't stop there - as you hinted at above, the owner of the property must be served with notice that the lien was filed within 1 month of filing the lien claim. Otherwise, the lien claim will be invalid and not enforceable. This notice of the lien filing must be served by the sheriff of the county where the owner is located - even if that owner is in a different county than the property itself. But, if the owner is outside of the state of Pennsylvania, notice may be given by certified mail with return receipt requested with restricted delivery on the property owner in order to make sure that the owner was actually served with a copy of the lien. However, as a last resort, if service absolutely cannot be made, as required - a lien claimant can post their lien in a conspicuous place at the property, and that will serve as notice.

Also, as you'd mentioned above, Pennsylvania requires that some claimants a Notice of Intent to Lien be sent prior to filing a lien. Specifically, claimants who have not contracted directly with the property owner must send a Notice of Intent to Lien at least 30 days before filing a lien. So, while the mechanics lien deadline might not be until 6 months after project completion, claimants hired by someone other than the owner must send their Notice of Intent to Lien at least 30 days before that deadline. But, regardless of whether a Notice of Intent to Lien is actually required, it's a good idea to send one anyway. They provide the opportunity to recover payment without the headache or cost of actually filing a lien claim.

I hope this information was helpful! For a little more info on Pennsylvania mechanics liens, this might be another helpful resource: How to File a Pennsylvania Mechanics Lien.
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