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What documents do I need to send and to whom and or file to process a lien for unpaid residential electrical work in Texas?

TexasMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

A subcontractor contacted us for electrical upgrades he needed for a residential remodel he was working on. I dispatched our licensed electricians to meet with the GC. The GC explained what he needed done and our electricians discussed time and material pricing and the GC agreed and our techs started work. Billing was calculated daily and billed to the GC by mail. The GC did not pay and when we contacted the owner he said the GC had been fired and that he would be the new point of contact. We worked on more day and billed the owner. He did not pay either. We contacted the owner for payment. He said he wanted contracts which we have none. We only have daily Material and Labor records and Invoices that have not been paid.

1 reply

Dec 27, 2017
To file a mechanics lien on homestead property in Texas, the (already burdensome) notice requirements for filing a mechanics lien become an even taller order. Not all residential properties are homesteads, though - in order to be considered a homestead, the owner must either actually occupy the property or demonstrate an intent to do so. Anyway, if the property is considered a homestead, complications arise. If there was no written contract between the owner and the original contractor, a lower-tiered lien claimant may be out of luck. Even if there was a written contract between the original contractor and the owner, issues may arise when there is no written contract between a subcontractor and the original contractor. As a best practice going forward, to ensure that lien rights won't be forfeited on Texas homestead projects, using written contracts will always be advisable. There are other requirements for original contracts and homesteads pursuant to §53.254, including: (1) The contract must be executed before any labor or material is furnished; (2) If the owner is married, the contract must be signed by both spouses; and (3) The contract must be filed with the county clerk of the county in which the homestead is located. If the project is a homestead, a claimant other than an original contractor must give notice of unpaid balance to the owner and written contractor not later than the 15th day of the second month following each month during which all or part of the labor/material was performed/furnished. This notice must also follow other requirements found in Subchapter K of the Texas lien statute. If the project is not a homestead, a subcontractor must file a notice by the 15th day of the third month following each month during which all or part of the labor/material was performed/furnished. Since you mentioned that you were contacted by a subcontractor, I'll add that a claimant who is a sub-subcontractor will have an additional notice requirement, and that notice must be sent by the 15th day of the third month - but that will only apply if a claimant is hired by a party that is under contract with an original contractor. Regarding the actual lien, the URL to our practical guide to filing a Texas lien is pasted below - those requirements are numerous, specific, and might be a little overwhelming to discus succinctly on this forum. Here's that URL: https://blog.zlien.com/construction-payment/the-practical-guide-to-how-to-file-a-texas-mechanics-lien/
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