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When do we need to file the lien?

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

Our demolition group shows up to a project and demolishes an existing structure and our fee is $500,000. We are paid $450,000 but there is $50,000 of retention left to be paid at the end of the project. Lets say our last day on the job is in March of 2021 but the job lasts another 10 months and ends in January of 2022. We signed an agreement that says we will not get paid retention until the end of the job. What is our timeline to file that lien, is it 90 days from the last day we are on the job? Does that timeline extend to the end of the job in January of 2022? Appreciate it.

5 replies

Sep 14, 2021

Your timeline to file a lien is 90 days after the job is finished as a whole (not when you were last on the job) or 30 days after a notice of completion is filed. 

For retention, you can always ask if they will reduce retention by some amount--down to $10,000 is quite common. 

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Sep 14, 2021

Exactly what I needed to know. I really appreciate your input.

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Sep 14, 2021

If a subcontractor is one of several subcontractors working for that prime contractor, can the subcontractor file the lien after they are completed with their portion (their individual subcontract) even though the job as a whole is still progressing slowly by the other subcontractors? An example would be plumbing group that installed the underground utilities?  

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Sep 14, 2021

No problem. Reach out if you have trouble with the retention.

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Sep 14, 2021

Frank--you can but recording the lien early will trigger the lien perfection deadlines to file suit. That's not a terrible thing, it just means you can't file the lien then sit on your hands. 

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