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What are my options for repayment?

KansasMechanics LienNotice of Intent to LienPayment DisputesRecovery Options

I am a maintenance technician for a tax credit apartment building. Part-time position was what I was hired for and a couple of months into the job a maintenance technician from 2 other properties managed by the company we worked for decided to quit. The property manager I work for asked me to do some work on the other properties. So I thought I would be a team player and help. So the first project was carpet in an entire townhouse roughly 700 sq ft. I provided the carpet,seam tape and fuel back and forth which is a 90 mile round trip. I've provided 19 lbs of r22 freon several tstats and plenty of plumbing supplies etc... I provided the property manager with proper invoices for the materials and labor. Each item description of the unit used on and specifically detailed information on why I was charging them. So my property manager then tells me that they will not pay me back for the materials used to make the repairs. These properties are tax credit or 55+ low income housing and the residents have been asked to go without ac during 100° weather. What are my options for being repaid for my materials and labor? I've already spoken with the property manager about this and that's a dead end.

1 reply

Aug 23, 2019
When unpaid for work that's permanently improved property, generally, a mechanics lien claim might be a viable option for recovering payment. Note, though, that not all work is lienable. Rather, only work that permanently improves the property would give rise to lien rights. So, maintenance items that must be performed every so often likely wouldn't give rise to lien rights. Though, something more substantial might - like replacing flooring - might be lienable work. You can learn more about who can file Kansas mechanics liens and how to file a lien at these resources: (1) Kansas Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs; and (2) How to File a Kansas Mechanics Lien A Practical Guide. Notice of Intent to Lien Note, though, that because mechanics liens are such a powerful tool, merely threatening to file a mechanics lien against improved property might be enough to get paid. By sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien, lien claimant can show that they're serious about recovery without actually having to pursue a lien claim. Essentially, it acts as a warning shot. So, before filing a lien, attempting to recover pament through a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien is often worthwhile. More on that here: What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien and Should You Send One? Other recovery options Of course, there are always options for recovery outside of the mechanics lien process, and depending on the situation and whether the work done is lienable, those other options may even be a better bet. For one, threatening to take legal action can be effective. This is especially true when a payment demand is sent via attorney letter. Another option may be to pursue a claim in small claims court. Small claims court offers an opportunity to utilize the court system without the cost, risk, and time it takes to file a more traditional lawsuit. Note, though, that Kansas small claims court will only be available for disputes under $4,000. Finally, keep in mind that the options mentioned here are just some of many available options. You can learn about some other potential options here: Can’t File a Mechanics Lien? Here Are Some Other Options For Recovery.
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