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What are commercial property owner rights & documentation requirements when mechanics liens are filed?

NevadaPayment Disputes

A mechanics lien was filed on a commercial property, now the property owner is requesting a copy of the contract agreement between our company (Architectural & Civil Engineering Firm) and the General Contractor (our client). Legally what documentation are we required to provide the property owner without getting into trouble contractually with our client who is the General Contractor?

1 reply

Aug 30, 2018
That's a tough situation. First, it's worth assessing how much importance should be put on protecting a client when they have failed to make payment. A mechanics lien is a last resort - nobody wants to file one. But when a customer has failed to make payment and a lien must be filed, it's probably time for a claimant to put their interests at the forefront. If it could help move a dispute forward, providing the owner with their contract might be a good idea. Regardless, unless a contract has a non-disclosure provision or cannot be shared for some other reason, providing an owner with a copy of your contract shouldn't cause all that much trouble. Granted, it might reveal your customer's margins - so if that customer relationship is one worth salvaging, then refusing to provide the contract might make sense. Then again, much of the pertinent information from your contract is already present in a lien claim. But anyway, a property owner's mere request to see your contract does not necessarily mean the contract must be provided. If a claimant has filed a lien and the property owner demands a copy of the claimant's contract, it's up to a claimant how to respond. However, a lien claim is already contentious enough, and an owner will be privy to a lot of contractual information anyway as a result of the filed lien. So withholding documentation could needlessly make a dispute even more contentious.
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