Many homeowners will at some point decide to make some renovations to their home. As such, they find a contractor through referrals from friends and colleagues, hire the contractor to perform the renovations, and get started on the project. In a perfect world, all goes smoothly and the renovations are performed to their specifications, to the homeowner’s satisfaction, and on time – so now it’s time to pay the bill. The contractor submits the bill and waits – patiently – as the due date passes. A second notice is subsequently ignored, and requests for payment go unanswered. The work has already been performed and material and labor has been provided – what options does the contractor have to pursue the money owed to him? In this scenario, the contractor has the option to file a mechanic’s lien and have it enforced under Alabama law.

Requirements To File A Mechanic’s Lien

In Alabama, the law states that two requirements must be met in order for a mechanic’s lien to be filed. First, the filing party – the contractor, in our hypothetical scenario – must have made some improvement to the property such as providing materials, labor, engineering services, or any other type of labor that added value to the property against which the lien is issued. The second requirement is that of a specific relationship between the parties; the filing party must be the original contractor or subcontractor or those who supplied materials to those contractors and subcontractors. As long as these two requirements are met, the one of two different types of mechanic’s liens can be filed under Alabama law – a full price lien or an unpaid balance lien. The full price lien is filed when the filing party has a contract with the property owner, and the unpaid balance lien can be filed by a worker who does not have a contractual relationship on his own with the owner of the property.

The Basic Steps

Once the basics are established, the procedure to file a mechanic’s lien involves providing written notice of intent to file the lien, filing a verified lien statement, and filing suit and obtaining a judgment. Taking these in order, the notice requirement entails sending information to the property owner about the amount in question, the work that was performed, and the person or organization that is owed the money. The notice must also include information about the right to attorney’s fees and finance charges that can be assessed. The second step – filing the verified lien statement – must be done either within 30 days from the last work day in the case of individual laborers or within six months in the case of contractors; other filing parties would need to file within four months of the last work day.  The statement must be filed in the county where the property is located. The last step, filing the lawsuit, must be done within six months of the final work day on the property.

Do You Need Help Getting Paid For Your Construction Project?

If you have performed contract work for a property owner and are having trouble getting paid for your time and materials, the attorneys at Cloud Willis & Ellis can help you determine whether a mechanic’s lien is the best way to get the money owed to you. Our legal professionals have successfully assisted clients throughout the Birmingham area recover money owed for their work and will work hard to get the same results for you. Contact Cloud Willis & Ellis now and get the results you deserve.