Sometimes, it’s necessary to ask for a mechanic’s lien. You might be familiar with doing so yourself. However, in other cases, it may be necessary to defend against a lien that someone else wants to place on your property.
Mechanic’s liens are, by nature, easier to enter into than to contest. As a property owner, you do have a right to defend against a lien if you believe that the mechanic has been paid in full or that there is another reason why they should not be entitled to a full payment.
What can you do to stop a lien on your property?
To stop a mechanic’s lien, the first step is to make sure that the contractor has been paid in full. If there is a reason that you have not settled the account, such as a dispute over a defect or concerns that the contractor inflated their time on the job, then you will want to talk to your attorney about fighting the lien and taking the contractor to court to argue a breach of contract or other dispute issue.
Another thing you can do to stop a lien is to enter a default. By entering a default, you are stating that the lien holder hasn’t filed a lawsuit within the correct period of time. This may allow you to get your property released.
A third option is to see if the contractor is licensed. Sometimes, showing that the holder of the lien is not licensed will be enough to have the lien released.
A more common issue is for the contractor to have been in violation of the contract but still requesting full payment. In that case, you have the ability to contest the lien by showing that the work didn’t satisfy the contract you had in place. If their work does not satisfy the contract, then you can argue that you should not have to pay. Invalidating the construction contract, or showing that the other party breached it, are both good ways to minimize the risk of a lien against your property after dissatisfactory work was done.