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we are a subcontractor. Do we file the mechanic's lien against the contractor or the owner of the property where we did work?

TexasMechanics Lien

We are a subcontractor. We completed work on a condominium complex. The general contractor has not been paid so we are not being paid. Do we file a mechanic's lien against the contractor or the property where the work was done? Technically, the general contractor owes us the money.

1 reply

Oct 6, 2017
By definition, a mechanics lien is an interest in property - while the GC is obligated to pay you by contract, and the property owner is obligated to pay you because it is the property owner's interest in the property that is encumbered, the lien is filed against the improved property itself (not filed against the contractor or the owner).

The information that must be included in the lien is set by state statute. In Texas, the required information is as follows:

(a) The affidavit must be signed by the person claiming the lien or by another person on the claimant’s behalf and must contain substantially:

(1) a sworn statement of the amount of the claim;
(2) the name and last known address of the owner or reputed owner;
(3) a general statement of the kind of work done and materials furnished by the claimant and, for a claimant other than an original contractor, a statement of each month in which the work was done and materials furnished for which payment is requested;
(4) the name and last known address of the person by whom the claimant was employed or to whom the claimant furnished the materials or labor;
(5) the name and last known address of the original contractor;
(6) a description, legally sufficient for identification, of the property sought to be charged with the lien;
(7) the claimant’s name, mailing address, and, if different, physical address; and
(8) for a claimant other than an original contractor, a statement identifying the date each notice of the claim was sent to the owner and the method by which the notice was sent.
(b) The claimant may attach to the affidavit a copy of any applicable written agreement or contract and a copy of each notice sent to the owner.
(c) The affidavit is not required to set forth individual items of work done or material furnished or specially fabricated. The affidavit may use any abbreviations or symbols customary in the trade.

Also, keep in mind that there are notice requirements for Texas subcontractors that must be met prior to filing a valid/enforceable lien. You can read more about them here: https://www.zlien.com/mechanics-lien/texas-lien-law-faqs/
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