A mechanic’s lien is fairly simple in concept, but can get complicated in practice. To put it simply, this type of lien helps to provide assurances to the people who are doing the actual work on a job that they will get paid. This is important because many construction companies will perform the work with the agreement that they will get payment once the job is done, or once the project is sold.
A mechanic’s lien kicks in should the firm that is getting the work done is unable to pay, and they go through a liquidation process (often as part of a bankruptcy). When this happens, the mechanic’s lien ensures that qualifying groups and individuals will get paid out first, before all others. This dramatically reduces the risk of non-payment to the construction companies, so they can take on jobs with a higher degree of confidence.
Does Not Apply to Auto Mechanics
One of the most common misconceptions about a mechanic’s lien is that it is the lien that allows mechanics to take possession of a vehicle they have fixed it they have not been paid within a set amount of time. This concept is actually known as an artisan’s lien, and has nothing to do with the mechanic’s lien.
Who Qualifies for a Mechanic’s Lien?
There are many groups of people who will qualify for a mechanic’s lien. Whether for a new construction project, improvement work, or most any other job related to the construction field, the following people will likely be covered by a mechanic’s lien:
- Laborers – Those who are performing the on the site work. This includes carpenters, laborers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC contractors, and others.
- Lumber Yards – As one of the main sub-contracted groups involved in most construction jobs, lumber yards will typically qualify for the mechanic’s lien.
- Architects – The architect (and, if applicable, civil engineers) who worked on the plans related to the job.
- Off-Site Fabricators – Those who create items specifically for the job may qualify for the mechanic’s lien.
Length of a Mechanic’s Lien
A mechanic’s lien will typically remain in effect until those protected by the lien are paid in full. This typically occurs once the construction project is completed, but it may extend further depending on the situation.
Enforce Your Mechanic’s Lien
If you have performed supplies, labor, or something else to a construction project and have not been paid, you may be able to enforce the mechanic’s lien. It is important to act quickly, however, as companies that are going through bankruptcy or liquidation often have many different creditors trying to get as much out of them as possible. Florida Construction Law Group [Link to CONTACT US page] has years of experience working with mechanic’s liens, and we would be happy to represent you throughout the process.