Perfecting a Mechanic’s Lien–Are You a General or a Sub?
In recording your mechanic’s lien, it is a given it must be done with the required prerequisites. But is it a dumb question to ask whether you are a general or subcontractor in doing so? Not really.
Deciding what pre-lien notices are required, and even what kind of mechanic’s lien, requires a determination as to whether you are a general contractor or subcontractor. But in doing so, it is not your license status but who you have a contract with.
For example, assume you are a roofing contractor with a subcontractor or specialty license. You may think you are automatically a subcontractor for all purposes, but this is incorrect. Regardless of that licensed status, if you have a direct contract with the owner, you are suddenly transformed into the world of being a general contractor. This is because of the rule of direct or privity of contract.
Why would this make a difference? This is because it in many states, only subcontractors need file what are called pre-lien notices. And the common exception is if you have a direct contract with the owner.
The same rule applies if you have a general contractor’s license. You may decide to sub out, for example, the framing to another general contractor and by doing so you suddenly become a subcontractor. And, this will trigger the requirement of a pre-lien notice needed for your mechanic’s lien. Will
If you have further questions as to your exact status for purposes of a mechanic’s lien, feel free to call us for a free consultation.