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Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Record the Rhode Island lien within 90 days of completion of the overall project/of your last furnishing labor or materials to the project (your portion of the work). If Notice of Completion recorded: record your Rhode Island lien within within 200 days of furnishing work of which you have not been paid.
General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): As above, File your Rhode Island lien within 200 days of furnishing work of which you have not been paid.
Who? A mechanic’s lien in Rhode Island is allowed for General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, renters of equipment, architects, engineers, and land surveyors.
Where? Records of Land Use in the city or town where work was furnished.
How Long Does it Stay on Record? A mechanics lien in Rhode Island stays 40 days after the Notice of Intention is recorded. A lawsuit to foreclose the lien then follows. We have templates for this.
Free consultation. We will instruct you how to fill-out the Rhode Island mechanic’s lien form line by line, answer questions, and give a general idea of the chances for success in enforcing the lien. (800-995-9434).
Mechanics Lien for Rhode Island Law Summary: For a more detailed discussion of Rhode Island mechanics liens.
HOW TO FILE A RHODE ISLAND MECHANIC’S LIEN
Step 1. Fill-out and Print
Complete the PDF “fillable” mechanic’s lien template. It automatically captures data and prints the lien in final form. Added feature: Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.
Amount of Rhode Island mechanic’s lien: Amount of all work performed under the base verbal or written contract plus change orders actually performed, whether or not they are signed. Finance charges are allowed only if included in your agreement or PO and signed by the other party. If not, you still court imposed pre-judgment interest. But do not include specific finance charges or interest in the amount of your lien; instead express it as a possible add-on at trial. Example: “Mechanic’s lien for the principal amount of $10,550, plus finance charges / pre-judgment interest as allowed by law”. This will be awarded later if you are the prevailing party in the Rhode Island lien foreclosure suit.
Giving freebies is rarely productive and you can actually lose respect in the process. You are not bound by initially agreeing to perform items without charge–this was contingent on being paid. With non-payment, it is no longer legal consideration for a contract modification in which the owner receives a reduced price. Example: While performing tenant improvement work on a small shopping center, in a gesture of good faith you furnish the following extras without charge: a) candilever overhang for the store front, b) replacing faux brick veneer panels on the south wall with more expensive limestone, and c) a small retaining wall (together with drain rock, filter fabric and drainage) on the slope above the rear parking lot. Then you never got stiffed on the last installment on the contract. If you supplied labor only, your Rhode Island lien will add in the hourly rate under the contract. If labor and material, use cost-plus or T & M amounts in the lien.
Do not include: A mechanics lien in Rhode Island should not include: court costs and attorneys’ fees (included later if you win at trial for breach of contract); lost profits as a result of unjustified termination; delay or impact damages; lost time or business the interruption; or anything else not constituting actual labor and materials improving the property.
Be careful. Including unauthorized amounts can invalidate a Rhode Island mechanics lien. Call us if you have any questions.
Step 2. Sign and Notarize
Signed by anyone who has knowledge of the general services rendered and the costs incurred. It does not have to be someone in the field—in other words, it can be by office personnel. Permissible persons: a manager, bookkeeper, controller, job foreman, project manager, owner, co-owner, or partner. All recorded documents must be notarized.
Step 3. Look-up Recorder’s Office
Recording a mechanics lien in Rhode Island is at the county level, not state or city. See “Where?” above for the name of your State’s recorder. Do a Google search for the county in which the project is located. Example: “[Name] County Clerk Recorder Register of Deeds”. Call to verify the fee and recorder’s address (or let us do it for you). Give them the city where the work was done–sometimes it is filed in different branch offices. If you don’t know the county, Google the city—even small towns have a Wikipedia listing describing the county. Use the cover letter provided. Send the original and one copy with a stamped self-addressed return envelope.
Legal description required? Most counties don’t require it, but if they do, we will look it up for free with any purchase.
Step 4. Mail
Regular mail to the recorder. Overnight if close to the filing deadline. If a general contractor, serve the Rhode Island mechanics lien on the owner with a copy certified mail. If a sub or supplier, serve the owner and general with a copy certified mail. Fill-out and staple as the last page the Proof of Service (it shows proof of mailing to the owner and/or general contractor).
Call us if you have any questions about a mechanics lien in Rhode Island—we’ll walk you through it. (800) 995-9434; (925) 899-8449.