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General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): File your Vermont lien within 180 days of the last furnishing of labor or materials to the project.
Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Just as with a prime above, record the Vermont lien within 180 days of your last furnishing labor or materials to the project (your portion of the work).
Who? A mechanic’s lien in Vermont is allowed for General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, renters of equipment, architects, engineers, and land surveyors.
Where? Clerk of the town in which the work was performed.
How Long Does it Stay on Record? A mechanics lien in Vermont stays 180 days after recording the lien. A lawsuit to foreclose the lien is then required. We have templates for this.
Let Us Help: If you prefer, for the same price, we will instruct you how to fill-out the Vermont 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). Alternatively, the direct line to Bernie: (925) 899-8449.
Mechanics Lien for Vermont Law Summary: For a more detailed discussion of Vermont mechanics liens.
HOW TO FILE A VERMONT MECHANIC’S LIEN
Step 1. Fill-out and Print
All our forms are the PDF “fillable” mechanic’s lien templates. That means they automatically capture data and print the lien in final form. Bonus feature: Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.
Amount of Vermont mechanic’s lien: You can include in the lien form 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 PO and signed by the other party. If not, you still get 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. Standard Phrase to Use: “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 Vermont lien foreclosure suit.
Do not reduce for freebies or discounts, as they were contingent on being paid. With you are not paid, it is no longer considered legal consideration for a contract modification in which the owner receives a reduced price. Example: In a kitchen remodel, for good customer relations you supplied some extras free: a) a 48 bottle built-in wine cellar and b) painted the adjoining dining room with a coat of base and semi-gloss. Then you never got paid the last installment on the contract. If you furnished labor only, your Vermont lien will add in the hourly rate under the contract. If labor and material, use cost-plus or T & M amounts in the lien.
Be careful–Do not include: A mechanics lien in Vermont 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.
Note. Including unauthorized amounts can result in the voidiing of the Vermont mechanics lien. Call us if you have any questions.
Step 2. Sign and Notarize
Executed 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 Vermont is at the town or city level–not county. 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. 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.
Is a 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 is OK. Overnight if close to the filing deadline. If a general contractor, serve the Vermont 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 with any questions about a mechanics lien in Vermont—we’ll walk you through it. (800) 995-9434 or (925) 899-8449.