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Mechanic’s Lien Update: What Amount Should be Included in your Lien?

 In Mechanic’s Lien Law Updates and News

Here is an interesting scenario that presented itself the other day. A general contractor on residential property performed all the basic works in the contract for rehabilitation of the residence. But the homeowner decided, midstream, to replace some of the GC’s subcontractors. The General contractor did not dispute this for customer service reasons, but as a result had to spend untold hours supervising, coordinating, and bringing the other subs up to speed.

The basic contract was for a stipulated sum and also provided for change orders at the rate of $40 per hour. The Contractor mentioned in an email that if the homeowner wished these further services, he would have to pay that hourly rate. Homeowner did not contest that email–he simply remained silent. And watched as the work was done.

Hence, the general contractor spent over 200 hours coordinating with those new subs. Then at the end the contractor was unpaid on the balance of the contract and wishes to file a mechanic’s lien for that amount as well as the additional hourly rates. Can this be done?

Certainly. A mechanic’s lien may be recorded for the reasonable value of the work expended to permanently improve the residence. Without that additional monitoring work, the residence could not be renovated.

But make sure as a contractor you have a detailed time sheet of your hours. Don’t just estimate. So give the dates, hours, and a brief description of what was done that day. This will ultimately give you more success in enforcing your mechanic’s lien.

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