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NY contractor is requiring a Unconditional lien waiver before we receive the check

2 weeks ago

We are a contractor working in NY, but the administrative offices are in Georgia. Our customer(also a contractor) is requiring us to sign a unconditional waiver saying we have received the check although we do not have it in our hands. I have offered to send a conditional waiver to have them release the check followed up with the unconditional waiver after the check is received. They will only accept their waivers and say they don’t have conditional ones. The contractor is willing to let us pick the check and exchange for the waiver at that time. However, we are in Georgia. Is this legal to not offer us a conditional waiver?

Legal Associate Levelset
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The applicable laws will be the one where the construction project is located. Under New York’s mechanics lien laws, the practice of requiring a lien waiver prior to payment is prohibited. This can be found under NY Lien Law §34:

… This section shall not preclude a requirements for a written waiver of the right to file a mechanic’s lien executed and delivered by a contractor, subcontractor, material supplier or laborer simultaneously with or after payment for the labor performed or the materials furnished has been made to such contractor, subcontractor, materialman or laborer.” (emphasis added)

You may want to send a letter to the contractor citing this statute, along with an executed copy of a conditional lien waiver.

For more information, see our New York Lien Waivers Guide & FAQs

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: NOTE. The information presented here is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be construed nor relied upon as such. Furthermore, this posting does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, seek the counsel of a licensed, local attorney.
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