Mechanic’s Lien Law–When Does Work Start?

 In Mechanic’s Lien Law Updates and News

When calculating time periods for a mechanic’s lien, oftentimes the actual date in which work started is important.

Take for example priority issues. In the battle between a mortgage and a mechanic’s lien, the question arises as to what has priority. This usually occurs when the property is being sold due to foreclosure and there are limited proceeds upon sale to be distributed.

In many states, a mechanic’s Lien claimant has priority over the mortgage if work was started by any contractor or subcontractor before recording of the mortgage. So the start date is very important.

But when does the work actually start? To determine this, you ignore any preparatory off-site work. So for example, preparing plans, ordering materials, starting fabrication, inspecting the site, having your contract signed and retaining subcontractors and suppliers, does not count. There must be some actual physical work done at the property, for example grading or demolition.

Logically, this also means that if the project never goes through, even though you have done substantial work as far as estimates, ordering materials, etc., that start date never occurs.

The start date is also important if you have to serve a preliminary notice near the beginning of the job. In that instance, the time would start running when the first work was performed. So keep your eye on that date as well.

If you have any questions in this regard, feel free to call National Lien law for an initial free consultation. We not only file mechanic’s liens in all 50 states, but are happy to give you some advice along the way.