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What is the process of filing a lien in maryland?

MarylandMechanics Lien

We have 2 projects in Maryland with the same contractor and same Tenant. We have not been funded completely on either of these projects and are feeling uncertain of the liquidity of the general contractor. We feel we need to file a lien to secure payment. Please advise the process as we would like to act quickly.

1 reply

Nov 27, 2018
That's a fair question - filing a mechanics lien can be burdensome, and Maryland can be one of the trickier states to file a lien in. While I won't be able to provide any advice here, I can lay out some relevant information on the lien filing process in Maryland which should help clear things up. First, it's important to determine whether any notice requirements apply. For parties hired by someone other than the property owner, a Notice of Intent to Lien must be sent to the property owner within 120 days of the claimant's last furnishing labor or materials to the project. Note, though, that when the project is on an owner-occupied single-family residence, this notice must also be sent before payment is made to the general contractor as well. It's also worth noting that when the prime contractor executes their contract with a tenant for life or a tenant whose lease extends over a long period of time (i.e. years), that tenant is considered the "owner" under § 9-101(f) of the Maryland lien statute. So, notice that must be sent to the owner may be sent to the tenant - but it's typically a good idea to send notices to both the owner of the property and their tenant. As for timing of a lien - a Maryland mechanics lien must be filed within 180 days from last furnishing labor or materials to the project. Note that unlike other states, a Maryland mechanics lien constitutes legal action - so in order to file a Maryland lien, hiring a lawyer is likely necessary. Of course, simply sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is often enough to compel payment considering mechanics liens can so drastically affect the property title - and sending a Notice of Intent even when not required is often considered a good idea. You can learn more about Maryland's lien and notice rules here: Maryland Lien and Notice FAQs. For more on the Notice of Intent to Lien document, this article can help: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien - And Should I Send One?
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