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Avoid a mechanic's lien by following your project's progress

Remodeling or having a home custom-built in North Carolina can be exciting. Ironing out the design aspects, choosing fixtures, furnishings, and the color palette enables you to make a house your home. However, projects do not always progress as planned. This can be especially true if your general contractor uses a subcontractor. When the subcontractor is not paid, they may file a mechanics lien.  At the Triangle Law Group, we have experience defending against and resolving issues concerning lien law.

According to FindLaw, a mechanic's lien allows the subcontractor to come after you and your property if the contractor does not pay them, regardless of whether you paid the contractor already. You may end up responsible for paying for the same work twice. The law presumes you can sue the original contractor to recoup the losses.

State law typically requires that suppliers or subcontractors give notice that payment is due and for what, within 30 days of the work or services provided. They may file a lien if they do not get paid. Typically, the subcontractors or suppliers work out a solution with the property owner within six months or move forward with a lawsuit.

As the project owner, there are three ways you can avoid a mechanic's lien.

  • Pay the general contractor and subcontractor or supplier with a check made out to both parties. That way they must both endorse it before they can receive payment.
  • Get a lien waiver from everyone the contractor must pay.
  • Pay the subcontractor or supplier yourself.

Keep all receipts, contracts and other paperwork involved in the project, such as notices from the suppliers and subcontractors regarding services rendered. This ensures you can determine whether they have been paid and helps you stay apprised of the project's progress. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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