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What are the lien filing requirements regarding retention in Arizona?

ArizonaMechanics LienRetainage

We have a project in Arizona that has been billed in full, less retention. We are looking to file a lien on the job in order to protect our rights to obtain that retention payment. What is the procedure to follow in order to file that claim and the requirements behind it? From my understanding, an AZ claim (in general) should be filed within 60 days of the Notice of Completion or 120 after completion of the entire project. Does that hold to retention only and does retention need to actually be billed?

1 reply

Mar 21, 2019
Sorry to hear about your situation! The retainage statute in Arizona isn't exactly a "model of clarity" when it comes to the improper withholding of retainage. Since retainage is payment for work performed, it may be subject to a lien claim. Of course, provided that the work is subject to a lien and the notice requirements have been fulfilled. Arizona requires that every person who furnishes labor, services or materials must send a preliminary notice no later than 20 days after the first furnishing of labor or materials.

Regardless, you are correct in your lien filing deadlines; 60 days after NOC (if filed) or 120 days after completion. If the retainage is being properly withheld, a lien may not be the appropriate path to take. So before filing a lien, you may want to consider other options such as a prompt payment demand or notice of intent to lien. These methods are commonly effective to induce payment. If you have more questions, these resources should be helpful! Arizona Mechanics Liens FAQs & Arizona Retainage Blueprint.
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