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Subcontractors can hold homeowners accountable for nonpayment

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Construction Law |

Subcontractors are construction professionals who primarily do their jobs on a project basis. They may work with one company or a variety of different construction firms. In some cases, they may even take work from homeowners directly. When subcontractors accept a project involving a property, the company that hires them has an obligation to pay them. Unfortunately, even when construction firms receive payment in full for a project, they do not necessarily make good on their obligations to subcontractors and material providers.

Sometimes, parties that have contributed substantially to a construction project do not receive compensation for their work. In those cases, subcontractors can take steps to leverage the property to secure repayment.

Mechanic’s liens can help subcontractors

The contracts that subcontractors have with the companies that hire them often prevent them from directly contacting property owners to prevent solicitation. Even if they attempted to reach out to the property owner, the owner may not recognize the subcontractor or feel any sense of obligation because they did not hire that person. They hired a construction company, and they know that they paid the full invoice due to the business.

On the other hand, if a business has proven unwilling to pay what it owes to a subcontractor, sending repeated invoices or otherwise attempting direct collection activity could actually put the subcontractor at a disadvantage. If they wait too long, they lose the option of pursuing a mechanic’s lien. The law about mechanic’s liens in Texas extends relatively robust protections to professionals.

Anyone who did work on a project or provided materials for it may potentially have the right to request a mechanic’s, contractor’s or materialman’s lien against the property. Taking the matter to the Texas civil court can help protect the subcontractor’s ability to collect on the amount owed for the services provided.

Homeowners may quickly seek to address the issue with the construction firm that they hired. Businesses that might ignore the complaints of individual subcontractors may act rapidly to resolve complaints brought by actual clients. A client facing a mechanic’s lien on their home could do real damage to a business’s reputation and might even be in a position to take legal action against the construction firm for its mismanagement of the financial aspects of the project.

Subcontractors who do not receive payment in full as they deserve are in a position to legally assert themselves and secure the compensation that they deserve. Seeking legal guidance when dealing with a non-paying client may help subcontractors understand and make use of the laws in Texas that are designed to protect them.


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