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General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): File your South Carolina lien within 90 days of last furnishing of labor or materials to the project.
Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): As stated with prime contractors, record the South Carolina lien within 90 days of your last furnishing labor or materials to the project (your portion of the work).
Who? A mechanic’s lien in South Carolina is allowed for General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, renters of equipment, architects, engineers, and land surveyors.
Where? Registrar of Deeds or the Clerk of the Court–in county where work was furnished.
How Long Does it Stay on Record? A mechanics lien in South Carolina stays 6 months after your last furnishing work or materials. A lawsuit to foreclose the lien is then required. We have templates for this.
Give Us a Call: If you prefer, for the same price, we will instruct you how to fill-out the South Carolina 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) or direct to Bernie at (925) 899-8449.
Mechanics Lien for South Carolina Law Summary: For a more detailed discussion of South Carolina mechanics liens.
HOW TO FILE A SOUTH CAROLINA MECHANIC’S LIEN
Step 1. Fill-out and Print
Our “fillable” mechanic’s lien templates automatically capture data and print the lien in final form. Bonus: Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.
Amount of South Carolina mechanic’s lien: Incdude the amount of all work/material furnished under the base verbal or written contract plus change orders actually performed, whether signed or not. Finance charges are allowed only if included in your contract or P.O. and signed by the other party. If not, the court will still award you as the prevailing party 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 South Carolina lien foreclosure suit.
Should you doll out freebies for good customer relations? No. It is rarely productive when it comes to being paid the final draw 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 binding 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. You guessed it–payment never comes. If you supplied labor only, your South Carolina 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 South Carolina should not include: court costs and attorneys’ fees (included later if you win at trial for breach of contract); lost profits if terminated from the job; 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 South Carolina 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. For example, this could be 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 South Carolina is always at the county level. 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, special requiremnts, and recorder’s address. 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 URL now describing the county. Use the cover letter provided. Send the original and one copy with a stamped self-addressed return envelope.
Need a legal description? 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina—we’ll walk you through it. (800) 995-9434; (925) 899-8449.