WE have done remodeling and handyman work on rental properties that are managed by an agent with Pro 100. Some of the invoices are over 60 days past due. So what is the best action to take?
Jun 16, 2020
Mechanics liens are a specific type of lien claim designed to make sure construction workers (and those who provide similar services) get paid. Anyone who provides a permanent improvement to the property may be entitled to mechanics lien rights, but that will depend on details like the claimant's role on the project, the type of work being done, and the type of project being worked on.
In Missouri, mechanics lien rights on residential projects tend to be restricted. Generally, only those who were hired directly by the owner will be entitled to lien rights unless a consent of owner form was signed (and, that's often included in the contract for work). Note, though, that if the owner has an agent who is authorizing work on their behalf, that agent may well be considered the owner for the purposes of mechanics lien rights.
For handymen - it's worth noting that regular maintenance might not give rise to lien rights. But, installations, repairs, and other large projects typically will. More on that here: Do Repair and Maintenance Companies Have Mechanics Lien Rights?
When is the deadline to file a Missouri mechanics lien?
Mechanics liens have strict deadlines. That means it's important to keep an eye on that deadline to make sure all of your options are available to you, however you decide to proceed.
In Missouri, the deadline to file a mechanics lien is generally 6 months from the last date when labor or materials were furnished to the project. That provides a lot of time to try and negotiate payment before a mechanics lien becomes necessary, which is good considering mechanics liens are typically considered the nuclear option.
Missouri's Notice of Intent to Lien requirement
For claimants hired by someone other than the owner, the claimant must send a Notice of Intent to Lien at least 10 days before filing a mechanics lien. As mentioned above, being hired by an agent of the owner might mean you should be treated as if the owner directly hired you - but, to be safe, it's likely best to send a Notice of Intent anyway. Plus, a Notice of Intent to Lien can lead to payment all by itself without the need for a lien claim.
These articles should be useful: (1) What is A Notice of Intent to Lien And Should I Send One?; and (2) Missouri Notice of Intent FAQs & Guide.