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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We did not file a lien in time on a project after the GC did not release our retention funds. Subsequently the property owner has ordered additional work from us directly. When we deliver the product the owner has ordered, does that reinstate our lien rights for all amounts due us

We did not file a lien in time on a project after the GC did not release our retention funds. Subsequently the property owner has ordered additional work from us directly. When we deliver the product the owner has ordered, does that reinstate our lien rights for all amounts due us

South CarolinaLien DeadlinesMechanics LienRight to Lien

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Aug 1, 2018
There are a couple of issues to look at with respect to when mechanics lien deadlines expire on a project when related to "additional" work. Generally, minor work (punch-list work, final supply of material, etc.) will extend the lien deadline if the work was part of the original contract's scope of work and for the same project. The question and answer gets less and less clear the more variables that are added. Warranty, remedial, or repair work is less often sufficient to extend lien rights, as is work performed pursuant to a different contract (even if on the same job).

It is not uncommon for materials supplied under separate contracts to have separate lien deadlines, although if there is an over-arching agreement to supply materials through the length of an entire project or for some period of time, this can be avoided.

In South Carolina, the lien deadline is generous in that it can be extended by "extra" work, or warranty or remedial work. Although, this still contemplates that the work is pursuant to the original contract.

Materials supplied under a new contract would give rise to their own lien right, but it is much less likely that the lien rights for a previously completed contract (even if on the same project) would be extended by the second contract with a different party. Practically speaking, though, a lien for the whole amount may result in payment - and could generally be partially released or amended with respect to any amount determined to be inappropriate for the particular lien claim. Finally, there are many timing, form, recording, service, and notice requirements that must be complied with in order to gain valid and enforceable mechanics lien protection.
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