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Who should a notice/lien be filed against when the above condo caused damage to the unit below?

CaliforniaMechanics LienPayment Disputes

There are two condos in this situation, one above the other. The top condo caused severe damage to the condo below it. The construction work took place in the bottom condo, but the above condo was responsible party and the one refusing to pay. Who would the lien be filed against in this situation?

1 reply

Mar 12, 2018
This is a great question, and it cuts to the core of how mechanics lien rights operate. The right to file a mechanics lien is granted by statute to enforce payment in the construction industry - the right to file a mechanics lien does not arise merely out of a contract or through the circumstances prior to a property's alteration, repair, or improvement. Thus, in California, and in every other state, mechanics lien rights arise in the property where the work is performed or material is provided. In a situation where someone other than the owner is responsible for nonpayment, this can create tension. Other claims for payment will likely be available against a nonpaying party - such as a breach of contract action. However, a mechanics lien will not be an available remedy against property if that property was not the one improved.
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