In difficult economic times, a mechanics’ lien can be an important tool for a contractor to collect payment.The mechanics’ lien remedy evolved from old English law permitting an artisan making or repairing personal property (a barrel or a saddle, for example) to keep the property until the customer paid.If the customer was unable to pay, the artisan could sell the item and keep the proceeds as payment.
Because this remedy was so effective, contractors persuaded legislatures to extend the remedy to those contributing to the improvement of real estate.In California, mechanics’ lien rights have been part of the state Constitution since 1879 and were permitted by state statute before then.A mechanics’ lien permits the contractor to obtain an interest in the improved real estate to secure payment.
California law imposes strict procedural and timing requirements on the assertion of a mechanics’ lien.Failure to comply with these requirements may invalidate the lien and, as a practical matter, leave the contractor without a remedy.Contractors and property owners with questions about their rights and obligations under the mechanics’ liens laws should consult with an attorney.
The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be construed as providing legal advice.