How Do Mechanics Liens Work in California?
Property owners hire contractors to construct new buildings or carry out improvement projects. The contractor's source of legal protection against property owners’ payment default is to file mechanics liens. A Pleasanton construction lawyer can help you file the preliminary notices and mechanics liens, and take other legal actions to collect payments.
In 2012, the California State License Board (CSLB) alerted consumers to the fact that new legislation went into effect on July 1, 2012. The legislation changed the forms used by property owners for release and notification forms. Property owners use release forms and obtain contractor’s and other parties' signatures after delivering payments to prevent them from recording mechanics liens. California law protects contractors, subcontractors, laborers and material suppliers who do not receive payment for work services or goods by allowing them to record mechanic liens on property. Contractors must file a preliminary notice, which secures their right to record a mechanics lien in the event of payment default.
California law requires contractors to provide a preliminary notice before beginning work or delivering goods and up to 20 days thereafter. When contractors or suppliers do not receive payments that are due, they can file a mechanics lien. The lien can force a property sale and require the owner to pay them for goods or services. When no foreclosure actions are taken, the lien remains on the title of the property, barring a clear chain of title should the owner decide to sell the property, refinance it or obtain a line of credit secured against it.
As in most areas of law, there are complexities involved and disputes can arise. A Pleasanton construction litigation lawyer can help parties resolve their disputes outside of court or take matters to trial.
Garcia & Gurney, ALC represents clients in construction disputes, collections and litigation.