How to File a Mechanic’s Lien in California

Published On: September 7, 20181 Comment on How to File a Mechanic’s Lien in CaliforniaTags: Last Updated: February 13, 20243.2 min read

How to File a Mechanic's Lien in California

A mechanics lien acts as a security or a guarantee of payment to construction firms, builders, and contractors. If you are involved in a construction project by offering professional services, building materials, labor or equipment, you are entitled to filing a mechanic’s lien to secure payments for the services you offered. If you are a supplier, a subcontractor or a construction party who is not involved in the construction project its imperative that you send a preliminary 20-day notice to the property owner to confirm your involvement with the project. Here some steps that will help you apply for a Mechanic’s Lien successfully.

Step 1: Determine Whether You Are Eligible to File a Mechanic’s Lien

In California, individuals who contract with the prime-contractors, agents, subcontractors or property owners have the right to apply a lien. Also, you ought to contract with the property owner by sending a preliminary 20-day notice. The language used in the preliminary notice should be the one mandated by the statute and also hold an affidavit of delivery.

Step 2: Prepare the Lien with Care

If you qualify to file a lien then you will have to draft the mechanic’s lien following the set California contractor law. You ought to ensure that you follow the law, adhering to all the requirements of the statute. The following must be included in the lien to make sure it’s approved; the name of the property owner, the name of the prime contractor who hired you, affidavit delivery, verification, legal notice statement, statement of demand and statement detailing the reason for the lien.

Step 3: Index Your Mechanic’s Lien to the Recording Office

Before you get to index your drafted lien, you should first consider consulting the recording office first. Since every office has its unique procedures and requirements, the relevant staff has to check to make sure that it conforms to those requirements. In California, recording of the lien is done ninety days before completion of the project or sixty days from when the notice of cessation or completion is made. Filing your lien will only cost you $20 – $50.

How to file a mechanic's lien in California - form

Step 4: Send A Notification To Parties

Once you complete preparing the lien, make a copy which you will sign and verify then send it by mail to the owner of the property. You have to make sure that send your copy using a certified mail to reduce inconveniences. Also, ensure that you make preserve a record of the mails and the draft and to add more conformity you can sign an affidavit that will confirm that you sent the lien to the owner of the property.

Step 5: Enforce or Cancel Your Lien

Since your mechanic’s lien has limited time and is only enforceable for a specific period of time, you should not let it expire. If the property owner shows the willingness to pay the money for the services, you provide, then you can decide to cancel the lien. If the property owner or the prime contractor shows an unwillingness to pay for the services, you can escalate the situation by enforcing the lien. You are required to file a lawsuit within the ninety days of the date that the lien was filed or the expiry of the lien.

Generally speaking, a mechanic’s lien has to ensure that it conforms to the California requirement and procedures so that it can be made legal in case if one wants to successfully use it to protect his payment from defrauding prime contractors and property owners. You are also not limited to seeking more clarification and information from people who have successfully qualified for filing a lien or other online resources such as Zlien.

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  1. Johnny Terlingo March 20, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Filing a mechanics lien, becomes essential when you are not been paid for your construction project work. Good share.

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