Getting paid for the construction work you do should be simple. Someone asks you to do a job, you complete the job, and they pay as agreed. Sadly, things often are not as straightforward as they should be.
If you have been in the construction industry for a while, you will know the excuses people come up with for late payment or non-payment. Being too understanding can sometimes delay it further. If you want to secure your payment and move on to other issues, one option is to seek a mechanics’ lien.
What is a mechanics’ lien?
A mechanics’ lien is a legal way of putting a claim on something until someone releases the lien by paying you the money they owe. To get one, you need to ask a court, and you show evidence of why you need it.
Some clients may get upset if you place a lien on their property. How much that influences your decision depends on how important the client is to you in personal and financial terms. Some people might never work with you again if you place a mechanic’s lien, which is fine if you never want to work with them again either.
However, placing a lien could cost you more than you gain in the long term. Remember, if you are working for someone who intends to sell the property you worked on, placing a lien will make it more difficult for them to sell it. They might need to sell the property to pay you. Understanding the restrictions a lien puts on a property and the benefits a lien gives you is essential to making the correct decision.