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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Therefore, my question is: Can I still file a mechanic's lien against the property because of all these things I have said? Thank you

Therefore, my question is: Can I still file a mechanic's lien against the property because of all these things I have said? Thank you

CaliforniaPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

I am an Electrical Contractor. I have direct contact w/property owner and I did not service the "notice to the owner" document. I have a contract signed by the owner with an agreement to do the work. The property owner made payment for the progress of work, but I had to stop the work because the person was not paying me for the work I was completing. The property owner told me that she is not going to pay me anymore.

1 reply

Aug 31, 2018
I'm sorry to hear you've been going unpaid. Everyone deserves to be paid for their work. Luckily, for those who contract directly with California property owners, preliminary notice is often unnecessary. In California, subcontractors must send notice, but direct contractors (that is, those with a direct contract with the owner) only need to send notice to the construction lender (if one is present on the project). So, there's a strong chance that notice is unnecessary for direct contractors. I'll discuss the timeline for filing a lien momentarily, but first let's talk about an option that can compel payment without having to file a lien: enter the Notice of Intent to Lien. A Notice of Intent to Lien acts like a warning - it informs an owner that if payment isn't made, a lien will be filed. Because a mechanics lien is such a drastic remedy, an owner must take the threat of a lien very seriously, and often, the mere threat can be enough to compel payment. You can learn more about the document here: Notice Of Intent To Lien May Be Enough To Get You Paid. Plus, here's a free downloadable form: CA Notice of Intent to Lien. Anyway, a California prime contractor has interesting requirements for filing a lien. A direct contractor must record his Claim of Lien after completion of the direct contract, and before the earlier of either 90 days after completion of the work of improvement; or 60 days after the owner records a Notice of Completion or Cessation. However, in California, "Completion" of an improvement occurs at any of the following events: "(1) Actual completion of the work of improvement. (2) Occupation or use by the owner accompanied by cessation of labor. (3) Cessation of labor for a continuous period of 60 days. (4) Recordation of a notice of cessation after cessation of labor for a continuous period of 30 days. (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if a work of improvement is subject to acceptance by a public entity, completion occurs on acceptance."
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