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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>The General Contractor is telling us that the landlord is refusing to make final payment. The General Contractor indicated that we may need to file a lien in order to get paid. Do we have a case since the disclosure statement was never signed?

The General Contractor is telling us that the landlord is refusing to make final payment. The General Contractor indicated that we may need to file a lien in order to get paid. Do we have a case since the disclosure statement was never signed?

WashingtonPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

In August 2018 our construction company was contracted to complete a ceiling repair on a commercial property. We did not have a signed disclosure statement, but have documentation (e-mails, texts) that prove there was a contract. We have not been paid. The General Contractor is telling us that the landlord is refusing to make final payment. The General Contractor indicated that we may need to file a lien in order to get paid. Do we have a case since the disclosure statement was never signed?

1 reply

Dec 3, 2018
That's a fair question, and the Washington notice rules can be confusing. In Washington, parties who have been hired directly by the property owner must provide a Model Disclosure Statement - but those who are hired by a general contractor or some other party do not need to provide the Model Disclosure Statement in order to preserve their right to lien. Rather, when hired by someone other than the property owner, a Notice to Owner may be required in order to preserve lien rights. Granted, a Notice to Owner is not required in order to preserve the labor portion of work. You can learn more about the notice requirements here: Washington Lien and Notice FAQs. Changing gears a little, if notice is required but not sent, lien rights could very well be put in jeopardy (or extinguished altogether). Still, the threat of lien can be just as effective as actually filing a lien itself. We discuss the idea more in this article What is a Notice of Intent to Lien - but essentially, because a mechanics lien is such a drastic remedy, the threat of lien can be effective to compel payment. Further, when multiple tiers are threatening lien, the situation may be even more helpful in getting an owner to make required payments. Plus, just because lien rights might not be present does not mean that recovery is impossible - there are always other options for recovery.
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