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Reactivating a project after Final Uncond waiver is sent

WashingtonLien WaiversPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

my customer appeared to have finished a project so i provided the GC with a Final Uncond waiver in Nov. i now see that they had another rental machine from us on this project for a few weeks in Feb. Do i need to resend the Notice to the Property Owner? this Feb work was all part of the original contract according to the GC. thank you

1 reply

Mar 12, 2020
Washington's mechanics lien statute doesn't specifically provide guidance for situations like the one described above. And that makes sense - statutes can't cover every possible situation. With that being said, once a final unconditional lien waiver has been given on a project, all mechanics lien rights for the job are usually waived. And, as you likely know, that's the point of a final unconditional waiver - to show that payment was made in full and that the submitter no longer has any lien rights on the job. So, unless lien rights were reserved by the language of the waiver, or unless there was something in the Exceptions of the waiver which blocks the waiver of lien rights for future work, then it's probably wise to look at how to secure payment outside of the mechanics lien process. With that being said, since this isn't quite a black-and-white situation that's easily discernable from the Washington mechanics lien statute - keep in mind that reasonable minds can differ about the availability of lien rights. Regardless, where work has been continuous under the same contract, I don't believe sending additional notice will act to preserve any rights. Then again, perception is reality - so if the others on the project believe you have mechanics lien rights, then that may well be enough to leverage payment.

How to secure payment after a final unconditional mechanics lien waiver is submitted

For one, keep in mind that mechanics lien rights are only one way to secure payment. There are always recovery options for those who have lost lien rights. What's more, if a separate contract for work was entered into, then sending an additional Notice to Owner might preserve mechanics lien rights for the new work. And, I don't think it'd be unreasonable to ask a customer to execute a new, separate contract then send notice based on the new agreement. Finally, there are also good options for securing payment by working with your customer. So, working with them to come to an agreement that will better secure your rights might be an option worth exploring.

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