Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Protection form Mechanics Lien

Protection form Mechanics Lien


Hello, I am a home owner who recently had home improvements completed in Maryland. We paid the GC in full and were happy with the results. We were then surprised to receive a notice of intent to file a lien from one of the subcontractors. I spoke with the GC and he and the sub are currently having a payment dispute concerning our project. It appears the sub walked off the completion and indeed we noticed a different sub finishing things up. Frankly, I don't want to be invovled in their dispute but have now come to realize that Maryland homeowners may be required to pay for their home improvements twice if a sub files a lien. The home improvement project is less than 15% of our home value and will not add 15% to the value of our home. Does this make any lien invalid? What are other measures can we take to protect ourselves? We have a future, larger, project in preliminary stages (with a different contractor) that will be 15% of the home value. I intend to ask for a Preliminary Notice and Waiver of Lien to be added to the contract. Is this all I need to avoid a similar issue? Thank you, Vicky in MD

2 replies

Nov 27, 2022

In Maryland, in order to successfully establish a lien on an existing building undergoing renovation, the Maryland lien statute requires that the building must be “repaired, rebuilt, or improved to the extent of 15% of its value” before it is subject to a mechanic’s lien in Maryland." Maryland Real Property Code Section 9-102(a). Also, in MD while you can seek to have the general contractor waive mechanic's lien rights in the contract, subcontractors cannot be required to prospectively waive lien rights in their contracts with the GC. If you have paid the GC was it is owed on the project, then you should insist that the GC defend and indemnify you from any action the sub may take against you or your property. However, if you have paid the GC in full at the time the notice of intent to lien is received, note that MD Real Property Code § 9-104(f)(3) provides the Owner with a defense to any such claim by a subcontractor. See also Winkler Construction Co. v. Jerome, 355 Md. 231, 734 A.2d 212 (1999); Ridge Sheet Metal Co. v. Morrell, 69 Md. App. 364, 517 A.2d 1133 (1986).

0 people found this helpful
Nov 29, 2022
Our firm has expertise in construction disputes.

Please visit our calendar at to schedule a time that works best for you. We offer a free 30-minute phone consultation.

Once you make an appointment, we will follow up with an intake form, where you may share any relevant documents with us.
0 people found this helpful

Add your answer or comment

Not the answer you were looking for? Ask your own question