Basics of mechanics liens

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2019 | Construction law |

If you are a contractor in New York, you understand the risk you face when you agree to perform work for a residential customer. You might complete the work but the homeowner might choose for whatever reason not to pay you. In some cases, they might pay you some of what is owed but not the full amount. These are situations in which the presence of a mechanics lien may be very beneficial for you.

As explained by The Washington Post, a mechanics lien is a vehicle via which a contractor, general contractor or subcontractor can give themselves some protection against unpaid balances. A person might be forced to eventually pay their debt even if that time has to wait until they are trying to sell their home. The lien is filed with the county recorder’s office or the clerk of the county and is legally binding. explains that contractors do have some responsibility when it comes to mechanics liens after a balance has been fully satisfied. Despite the fact that most of these liens have stated expiration dates, a contractor should actively release the lien on the property to ensure that the homeowner does not experience any future issues regarding it.

Situations in which a homeowner is withholding payment because of what they say is an incomplete punch list can be tricky but, in most situations, a contractor may still be owed at least some percentage of the compensation outlined in the original agreement. Factors that go into determining this include how much of the work was completed and whether or not the homeowner provided approval for the work to begin.