April 23, 2014

Mechanics Liens Under California Law

If you are a property owner, real estate developer, or a contractor, you will at one point or another encounter the mechanics lien. Under, California law, a mechanics lien can be filed on a property by an unpaid contractor, subcontractor, laborer, or a material supplier. The mechanics lien works like any other lien and can be satisfied by forcing a sale of the property.

A lien can result when the prime contractor has not paid its subcontractors, laborers, or suppliers. Thus, even if the property owner has paid the prime contractor for the work done on the property, the homeowner is still ultimately responsible for payment, leaving the subcontractor, laborer, or supplier free to place a lien on the property in order to force payment.

If you are a Los Angeles property owner, it is imperative that you choose contractors carefully and be certain that the contractor is licensed by the California State Contractor?s Licensing Board. Additionally, you should also ascertain that whomever the prime contractor has working on your property is likewise properly licensed. If the person claiming the mechanics lien did not contract directly with the property owner, a 20-day preliminary notice must be sent to the property owner and to the prime contractor.

The lien claim must include the following:

  • The amount owed to the claimant.
  • The service or products provided.
  • The employer?s name, the property owner?s name, and the address or description of where work was done or products delivered.
  • The claimant’s address.
  • A signed proof of service.

Next, within 90 days of either completion of work, when the property owner began using the improvement, or when the property owner accepted the improvement, the lien claimant must record the mechanics lien.

The paperwork to file for a mechanics lien under California law is very technical and requires adherence to strict statutory guidelines. Thus, the services of a real estate attorney from Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC are highly recommended.

If you are a property owner and an invalid mechanics lien has been filed on your property, there are also specific requirements you must undertake in order to have the lien removed:

  • Give proper notice to the lien claimant to remove the invalid lien.
  • If the lien is not removed, you can then petition the court to remove the invalid lien.

Petitioning for the release of an invalid mechanics lien is also a highly technical procedure and certain documents must be filed with the court. A real estate attorney from Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC can assist you with these matters. So, contact us today for a free consultation.

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