There can be few things as stressful as a subcontractor than not being paid for the time, effort, and materials used in a construction project. You might rely on that money to look after your family, and having clients or contractors not paying you can cause a great deal of stress. However, you might be eligible to file a mechanics lien in Texas as protection against non-payment. Here’s how to know if this is a suitable option for you.
Your Work Is Protected By Lien Laws
To have complete confidence that you’re eligible, you may see the value in contacting a TX mechanics lien attorney. They can find out more about your situation and provide you with helpful insight into the mechanics lien process.
However, the Texas Property Code outlines a few broad criteria to help subcontractors learn about their rights and protection under lien laws. You might be able to file a claim if you provided labor and materials to improve a property, specially fabricated materials, or were a design professional involved in a project, such as a surveyor, architect, or engineer.
If you were involved in the construction of improvements during a project and resonate with these Property Code criteria above, you might be able to file a mechanics lien in Texas.
You Sent All Necessary Construction Notices
Sending all necessary construction notices can be crucial for ensuring you’re eligible to file a mechanics lien. There are many different notices based on your role and the type of project you didn’t receive payment for.
In most situations, general contractors are exempt from notices, but subcontractors and suppliers do tend to have a notice requirement. Subcontractors and suppliers must send preliminary notices to the contractor and property owner in residential projects by the 15th day of the second month after work was completed but not paid for.
Following that notice, the filing deadline on a residential project for a Texas mechanics lien is on the 15th of the third month after the last labor or materials were provided. Action to enforce a lien must be initiated within one year after the project’s completion, termination, or abandonment.
You Have a Written Contract
If you are working on a homestead, which is defined as a property the owner who instigated the project lives in, you may be required to sign a contract with the homeowner and general contractor. This contract must be signed before work begins and by all house owners. It must also be filed with the county clerk of wherever in Texas the property is located.
You’re Within the Outlined Deadlines
You generally have plenty of time to file a mechanics lien, but the timeframe can be different for residential and non-residential projects. If you’re unsure whether you can still file, it might be worth enlisting the services of a Texas mechanics lien attorney to find out if you still have time.
Mechanics liens afford subcontractors plenty of protection regarding non-payment, but there can be many hoops to jump through. Consider this information above, and align yourself with a reputable attorney who can walk you through the most appropriate steps for your unique situation.