A mechanics' lien, also known as a construction lien, is a legal claim against the title to a property for the benefit of those who have not been paid for labor or materials they supplied to improve the property.
Who files a mechanics' lien?
Contractors, subcontractors, or suppliers may file a Mechanics' Lien against a property where they have worked if they have not been paid. A subcontractor who has not been paid may file a lien against the property even if the general contractor was paid for the work.
What is a lien waiver?
Some property owners ask contractors to sign a lien waiver either before the contractor starts work or as the work progresses and the contractors have been partially paid. By signing a lien waiver, the contractor agrees to not file a lien on your property.
Mechanics' lien procedure
There are strict rules about the time limits, advance notices required and specific information needed for filing a mechanics' lien. Generally, a lien must be filed within four months of your last work on a job and the notice of intent to file a lien must be sent ten days prior to filing the lien. There are other limits and very specific information requirements.
Learning about mechanics' liens
Mechanics’ liens are a potent mechanism for collecting unpaid past due debts. Still, mechanic’s liens don’t work in every circumstance. Bradford’s concise pamphlet, Know Your Mechanic’s Lien Rights: A Guide to Colorado Law, provides the basics of mechanics’ liens and crucial information about when to file.