Construction projects have many moving parts. Because of this, it’s extremely easy for disputes to arise, which can lead to the filing mechanic’s liens against private property. Lien laws in Texas are particularly expansive and complex, so a company facing a lien filing on its property could find itself entangled in a lengthy and expensive legal battle without the help of an experienced construction law attorney.
MehaffyWeber asserts and enforces lien rights and payment bond rights on behalf of general contractors, subcontractors, and any party not getting paid for supplying materials or labor to a construction project. We also file liens for construction managers and design team members.
Mechanic’s Liens In Texas
The Texas Constitution and state statutes establish the basis for mechanics’ liens. Under the Texas Constitution, nearly anyone that provided labor, materials, or services on a construction project can file some type of lien against the property for non-payment. Not only can contractors, subcontractors, and sub-subcontractors file for a lien, but suppliers, architects, engineers, surveyors, and even real estate brokers, among others, may also be eligible to file for a lien. Article 16, section 37, of the Texas Constitution, creates the constitutional lien.
Chapter 53 of the Texas Property Code further governs mechanic’s lien rights, as it provides a detailed procedure for assertion and enforcement of a mechanic’s lien claim. While the Texas Constitution and Property Code yield similar protections, the two procedures function separately and distinctly. And, with so many parties eligible to file a lien, it’s easy to see how quickly a property owner can find himself or herself facing one.
When Liens Can Be Enforced
While many parties have the right to file a lien against a property, a lien cannot be enforced unless it is properly filed, and there are certain steps to take to do so. Anyone looking to file a lien will need to file a pre-lien notice. There are several types of pre-lien notices and different procedures for filing each type. If a contractor or other party fails to file the correct type of pre-lien notice, it can invalidate the mechanic’s lien even if the lien itself is filed correctly.
Furthermore, in order to enforce a perfected mechanic’s and materialman’s lien against a private construction project in Texas, a lawsuit must be filed seeking foreclosure of the lien. A mechanic’s lien can only be foreclosed on by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction. The judgment entered in such a proceeding shall foreclose the lien and order the sale of the property subject to that lien.
What To Do When You Are Faced With A Lien
If a contractor, subcontractor, or other party is trying to place a lien on your property, you should immediately contact a lawyer. Liens have strict deadlines and specific requirements. Failure to follow the slightest detail could vacate the legal right to a valid lien. You will need an experienced construction law attorney to help you understand whether or not a lien against your property is even valid. An attorney will also be able to protect your best interests while devising an efficient resolution strategy.
Texas Construction Law Attorneys
Our Texas construction lien attorneys handle numerous Texas mechanic’s liens and materialman’s liens (also known as M&M liens) in Texas arising out of construction disputes between property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, equipment rental companies, and material suppliers. At MehaffyWeber, our Texas construction law attorneys have handled complex construction law issues since 1946. We have four offices in Texas to help provide top-notch service to our clients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our construction law attorneys.