What kinds of jobs can you lien?
July 18, 2017
Generally, you can file a claim of lien on any private construction project where the person authorizing the work has a legal interest in the real property on which the improvements are being made. In other words, does the person who authorized the work have an ownership interest in the real property where the work is being done? If so, you can lien that interest.
You can't file liens on projects for the improvement of public property (for example, jobs for a city, state or similar governmental authority). Those jobs (over $100,000) are covered by payment bonds. Easements are exempt from liens too because they are considered to be a privilege to use land for a particular purpose, not a legal interest in real property.
Here are examples of jobs that you can file liens on:
Condominium work: The Georgia Condominium Act, O.C.G.A. § 44-3-70, et seq, controls the application of mechanics and materialman liens on condo projects. Whether a material or mechanics lien will apply on a condominium project is primarily a function of two things: 1) whether a condominium declaration has been filed: and 2) whether individual units on which work has been completed have been sold to individual owners. Timing is based on when the claim of lien is filed, not when the work is completed or materials are delivered.
Equity interest: If a person with an equity interest in the property authorized the work, you can file a lien on that equity interest. In other words, if you do work for a residential home owner who owns his or her home subject to a mortgage, you can lien that owner’s equity interest in the home.
Homestead Exemption: If a debtor claims that real property is exempt pursuant to the Homestead exemption, a lien will attach for work contracted for after the real property has been set aside pursuant to the homestead exemption. If the work was contracted for before the real property was set aside pursuant to the homestead exemption, a lien will not attach.
Leased Property: If you provided work for a person who is leasing real property, you may be able to lien the real property on which the work was done subject to the lease agreement between the lessee and the leasor. This applies generally to leases for more than five(5) years. It does not apply generally to leases for less than five (5) years.
Time-share work: The Georgia Time-Share Act, O.C.G.A. § 44-3-160 et seq, controls the application of mechanics and material liens to time-share projects. Similar to condo projects, the application of mechanics and materials liens to a time-share project is a function of when documents creating the time-share are filed. Timing is based on when the mechanics or material lien is filed, not when the work is completed or materials are delivered. Prior to the filing of time-share documents, a mechanics or material lien may apply to the entire project. After the filing of time-share documents, a mechanics or materialman lien likely will not cover the entire project unless the work in question was consented to by a majority of time-share owners.
Carson Law helps small to medium sized construction firms in all trades deal with the legal complexities of running a small business and a construction project in the building industry. This blog is dedicated to providing straightforward legal information design to assist the construction practitioner with the legal issues they are mostly likely to face on a construction job. Construction law and litigation is our focus, helping people is our passion. See www.Carson-Law.com; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678 205 1537.