We received an intent to lien from someone who did sales/ commission work for the contractor we hired for our roof project. We haven’t made the final payment yet. Will getting the lien waiver stop the potential lien?
Jun 14, 2018
That's a great question. A lien waiver received from a general contractor will only waive that individual contractor's right to file a lien. Thus, if a subcontractor, supplier, or some other party that was hired on the project is entitled to lien rights, a lien waiver would need to be received from that party in order to be sure that party could not file a mechanics lien. So, rather than requesting one lien waiver from a contractor, owners are more protected when they require a lien waiver from every party that provided work to the project - and designating that a contractor must collect all lower-tiered waivers is a fairly common request. It's worth noting, though, that only certain types of work give rise to mechanics lien rights - typically, construction work that provides a permanent improvement to real property. Generally speaking, non-construction functions such as sales work would not give rise to mechanics lien rights. Regardless, when a Notice of Intent to Lien has been received, it's wise to reach out to both the party who sent the notice and the general contractor to try and resolve the dispute. Notifying the general contractor that payments will be withheld unless all claims are resolved usually speeds up the resolution of a construction dispute (even if it's an empty threat, at the end of the day). Ultimately, though, receiving a Notice of Intent to Lien is a lot better than receiving a mechanics lien claim out of the blue. At least now there is an opportunity to resolve the dispute before a lien filing occurs.