Mechanics’ liens, often used by subcontractors and suppliers, are legal claims against property that’s been remodeled or improved. Let’s say, for example, you’ve been remodeling your kitchen and the supplier who provided the countertops isn’t paid by the general contractor. In this case, a lien can be placed against your house to recover the money. The bottom line? It doesn’t matter if you already paid the general contractor for the work in the kitchen. If the subcontractor or supplier isn’t paid by the general contractor, the law allows them to come to you to recover their wages.

While it may seem unfair to ultimately pay for the work twice, the thinking behind mechanics’ liens is that between the person with improved property (the homeowner) and the subcontractor/supplier, the supplier’s needs to get paid take precedent. Keep reading to see how these liens work:

  • The subcontractor must provide notice to the homeowner of what’s being contributed (i.e. supplying the countertops) within about one month of contribution.
  • If the subcontractor isn’t paid, they must file a “claim of mechanic’s lien” in the county where the property is located.
  • The subcontractor has anywhere from two to six months to work out a solution with the property owner or file a lawsuit.

Keep in mind that liens on your property can prevent you from selling your property or getting a loan. With all the complexities involved in mechanics’ liens, it’s imperative to seek professional advice from a civil litigation attorney. At the Chattanooga litigation law firm of Cavett, Abbott & Weiss, we can easily handle materialmen’s and mechanics’ liens. With over 60 years of combined experience, it’s no secret why we’re the preferred civil litigation attorneys in the area.

Get the legal representation you deserve with Cavett, Abbott & Weiss, PLLC. You can’t afford to go to court without us!®