Picked Up Material

WashingtonMechanics LienRight to Lien

We are an aggregate supplier in Washington State. If a customer picks up material at one of our locations and transports the material to a property for improvement work, do we have lien rights on that property? Is it different if we deliver a portion of the material? I see some obvious problems with picked up material, for example how can we verify where the material was delivered after leaving our location.

1 reply

May 24, 2019
That's a good question, and certainly, it will be easier to comply with any notice or lien requirements where material is delivered to the project property. However, it appears that those who supply material via their customer picking up materials and bringing them to the property themselves should be entitled to lien rights just as if that material was delivered.

First, RCW § 60.04.021 sets out who is entitled to lien in Washington, including those who furnish materials "for the improvement of real property" - that section doesn't require that materials specifically be delivered to the property in order for lien rights to arise. Further, RCW § 60.04.011(4) defines furnishing materlas as "the provision of any supplies or materials...for the improvement of real property." So again - actual delivery of materials to the job site does not appear to be a prerequisite for the ability to file a mechanics lien.

But, as mentioned in your question, there might be some practical problems - particularly if the supplier doesn't know where their materials are going. One way to alleviate this problem might be to require customers to indicate where the furnished materials will be brought, along with some other identifying information for the project. That way, if a Notice to Owner or a Notice to Contractor is required, a supplier will be able to comply with notice requirements in order to preserve their eventual lien right. Though, obviously, in a situation where a customer picks up materials for multiple jobs at the same time, keeping track of what will go where might be a headache, initially. Still - it's possible to create a system where important information is tracked and associated with the proper projects.

For more information about lien rules and notice requirements in Washington, these resources will be valuable:
(1) Washington Mechanics Lien and Notice Overview; and
(2) Washington Lien & Notice Fact Sheet (Free Download).
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