Remodeling Your Office Building? Learn How To Prevent A Mechanic’s Lien

If you are about to embark on the journey of hiring a contractor to remodel your office building, you might be very excited, and only thinking about the finished product. However, a little underlying issue could arise after the job is finished if the contractor doesn’t pay the suppliers. That issue is called a mechanic’s lien, and if one is placed on your building, you will have a short amount of time to clear it up. This guide explains how a mechanic’s lien works, and how you can prevent it.

How a Mechanic’s Lien Works

When you pay a contractor for services, they hire the sub-contractors who will do the work, inspect the job they perform and then pay them. In a perfect world, this all goes down with no problem. But there are some situations where the contractor doesn’t pay the sub-contractors.

Whatever the reason for the sub-contractors not getting paid, those workers have the right, by law, to come after you for the money. Even if you gave your contractor every last dime owed, you’ll typically have only a few months to come up with what’s owed to the sub-contractor, or you may watch your office building go on the auction block.

Preventing a Mechanic’s Lien

As scary as this situation might sound, most contractors are honest and reputable. But if you feel uneasy about writing a check to someone in hopes that they will pay the workers, here are some things you can do to prevent a mechanic’s lien.

Prevention Tip #1: Write the checks out to both the contractor and the sub-contractors performing the work. This ensures that both signatures are required to cash the check, which makes the odds of the workers getting paid a lot greater.

Prevention Tip #2: Ask the contractor to obtain mechanic’s lien waivers from all the sub-contractors they use. This document will protect you should the unthinkable happen, and the workers don’t get paid.

Prevention Tip #3: Write the checks to the workers yourself. This is drastic and you’ll need to be around the work site more than what you hoped, but it will prevent any issue that might come along.


Keep in mind that part of your contractor’s job is to ensure that the workers complete the job properly. Ultimately, it is their decision as to whether or not they did the job according to specifications and whether they earned their pay. Should a mechanic’s lien be placed on your property, the contractor will likely need to appear in court to tell the judge why they didn’t make the payment.

The law is typically on the side of the worker in these situations because you have the option of suing the contractor.

If you receive notification that a sub-contractor placed a mechanic’s lien on your property, call an attorney like Strauss Troy right away to learn what your rights are, and what you must do to clear it. Act as soon as possible to prevent the sale of your building to satisfy the lien. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *