30 days to record mechanics liens

#6 of the Top 10 Misconceptions about Mechanic's Liens

A mechanic's lien must be recorded within 30 days after a notice of completion is recorded

You have only 30 days to record mechanics liens -

It's more involved than that...

You do not necessarily have just 30 days to record a mechanics lien.

A mechanic's lien must be recorded no later than 30 days after the recording date of a valid notice of completion (60 days for a general contractor), or 90 days after the date of actual completion if no valid notice of completion is recorded.

If an invalid notice of completion is recorded, the 90-day rule applies, which means you have more than 30 days to record mechanics liens.

A valid notice of completion

To be valid, a notice of completion must be recorded within 10 days after the actual date of completion. The notice must state the date of completion. If the date stated is inaccurate, the notice of completion is still valid if the actual date of completion is within 10 days prior to the date on which the notice of completion is recorded.

For private projects, actual completion has occurred upon any one of the following:

  • 1. Completion of the entire work of improvement (each residential unit is considered to be a separate work of improvement);
  • 2. The occupation or use of a work of improvement by the owner or his agent, accompanied by cessation of labor thereon;
  • 3. Acceptance of the work of improvement by the owner; or
  • 4. After work has begun, a cessation of labor for 60 days, or a cessation of labor for 30 days accompanied by the recording of a valid notice of cessation
For public projects, actual completion has occurred when the public entity accepts the work of improvement.

So, as you can see, you don't always have just 30 days to record mechanics liens.


More Information:The BEST Place To Purchase Downloadable Construction Forms:

Above article written by:
David J. Barnier,
Partner at Barker Olmsted and Barnier, APLC


Disclaimer -
This article presents a discussion of general laws, rules, and strategies related to mechanic's liens and other construction issues and is intended to provide background information that will assist the reader in understanding the general laws and rules that apply. Examples and hypotheticals are described in this article for the purpose of illustrating these general rules, however no information within this article should be relied upon when analyzing a specific real-life situation.

For each real-life situation that the reader experiences, it is necessary that the reader consult with an experienced construction law attorney to ensure that the reader's specific situation is evaluated. The laws and rules affecting mechanic's liens and construction are extremely complex and no attorney can provide in a writing an explanation that will empower the reader to use only the information in an article to evaluate how the law will apply to a specific real-life situation. In other words, the reader should not rely on the information in this article when addressing a particular real-life situation.