In construction projects, stakeholders such as construction firms, contractors, sub-contractors, builders, material suppliers, and workers, can be left unpaid even after the property they worked on is finished and sold off. To prevent this, they can file a mechanic’s lien against the property to ensure that it cannot be sold before they are fully paid. Nowadays, a lien is usually required by these stakeholders for any project.
In New York, such court filings for mechanic’s liens are done at the County Clerk’s Office where the construction project is located. There are a lot of details that must be followed to the letter, though.
Steps for Filing a Mechanic’s Lien in New York
Step 1: Filling up a New York mechanic’s lien form
Every stakeholder can file a mechanic’s lien individually. The form must contain the lienor or claimant’s full name and address. The license number of a licensed professional, such as an engineer, must be provided, as well.
If the claimant is a business entity, such as a construction company, the names of the partners and the primary business address must be provided. If the company is not registered in New York, the primary business address in the state must be provided.
If the claimant is represented by a lawyer, the lawyer’s full name and address must be on the form, too.
Property Owner’s Data
Put down the full name and address of the property owner or owners.
Hiring Party’s Data
The claimant must put down the full name and address of the person or business entity that hired him for the project. This must be the name and address in the job contract. This can be the property owner directly. In the case of sub-contractors, though, this will be the main contractor.
Statement of Labor or Materials Provided
This is the exact monetary value of the work to be rendered according to the job contract, or the materials ordered.
This is the amount due to the claimant, corresponding to the still-unpaid labor or materials to be provided.
First and Last Dates of Work
This is the actual first and last date of the claimant’s work or delivery of supplies at the construction site. If the project is ongoing when the lien is being filed, the date will be the date of filling up the form.
This refers to the lot number, block number, and street where the property is located. The form should also state if the property is a single-family dwelling.
Signature Under Notarization
The form must be signed by the claimant before a notary and duly notarized to be valid. If someone else is signing for the claimant, there must be a document showing authorization.
Step 2: Serving the property owner with a copy of the lien
The claimant must serve the property owner with a copy of the filled-up lien form not more than five days before or 30 days after filing the filled-up lien form, now called the notice of lien. Claimants who are not the project’s general contractor must also serve the general contractor a copy of their notice of lien.
The lien notice can be served in person, left at the business or home address of the property owner, or sent by certified mail. The general contractor can be served by posting at the job site.
Step 3: Filing the New York mechanic’s lien claim
Deadlines for Filing
The lien claim must be filed during the project or not later than eight months after its completion. If the claimant’s work ended before the completion, the reckoning will be from the last day of work.
If the project is a single-family home, the lien claim must be filed not later than four months after the home’s completion.
Where to File
As previously mentioned, the lien claim is filed with the County Clerk’s Office to be recorded. If the project spans more than one county, the claim must be filed with all counties concerned.
The Filing Process
The lien can be submitted in person or sent by mail or courier. If sent, it must include the exact amount for recording fees. If the amount included is less or more than required, the claim can be rejected.
The submission must include a self-addressed stamped envelope so that a copy of the recorded lien can be sent to the claimant.
Electronic filing is allowed in a few New York counties. The claimant must ensure that all procedures are properly followed.
Step 4: Filing the affidavit of service
The affidavit of service must be filed not later than 35 days after filing the lien claim. If the property owner is served the lien claim five days before filing at the County Clerk’s Office, the claimant can file the lien claim and affidavit of service together.
How Long is a Mechanic’s Lien Good for in New York?
The validity of the mechanic’s lien in New York is a year from the date of filing. If there is a possibility of non-payment before the year is up, the claimant must serve a Notice of Intent to Foreclose to the property owner before filing a lawsuit to enforce the claim.
From filing a lien claim to the possibility of serving a Notice of Intent to Foreclose, following the requirements exactly and timing is crucial. This is why experts from Serve Index LLC can provide a huge help in ensuring that everything is filed and served on time and correctly. Claimants can rest assured that they are well protected. Get in touch with us at 888-994-6339 or email [email protected] if you have questions. We also provide free quotes.