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Recovering r etainage from prior years

KansasPayment DisputesRetainage

I live in Kansas. I've done work for a person who took 10% of each job as a retainer for repairs and such. Ive requested reimbursement and he will not pay. These years are 2012 and 2014. He stated he holds it for one year.

1 reply

Feb 2, 2018
Since payments have been owed since 2012 and 2014, a mechanics lien will not be an available method for recovery - for a subcontractor in Kansas, a lien must be filed within 3 months from the last date of furnishing labor or materials (though this may be extended to 5 months on commercial projects). Anyway, while a mechanics lien is not an available option, there are other routes to recovery. One option would be to send a demand letter for the unpaid retainage. Including language from the Kansas Fairness in Private Construction Contract Act could help put some power behind such a demand. Under that act, retainage amounts being unjustly withheld could be subject to interest penalties of 18% per year. Another option would be to initiate litigation or take the contractor to small claims court (depending on the amount owed). However, litigation is inherently risky and can quickly get expensive - plus, there's a chance that the time to bring an action for the unpaid amounts has passed. In any event, since these disputes are so long-running and seem to potentially involve significant amounts and penalties, it would be wise to reach out to a local construction attorney. They will be able to do an in-depth review of the facts surrounding your situation, provide clearer options for recovery, and advise you on which path to take.
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