Lien waivers ensure that obligations, namely payments, are made upon the completion of a project by a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier. If payment isn’t made, the party that provides a service or supplies can file a mechanics lien to enforce payment. To avoid a lien on a project, the paying party will require the contractor to sign a lien waiver. There are two types of waivers, conditional and unconditional. Within each type are two subtypes: final payment and partial payment.
There are two types of conditional waivers: final payment and partial payment. These waivers are based on the condition of a partial or final payment made “to date” on a project. With this waiver, a potential claimant releases the right to file a mechanic’s lien if they have been paid partially, up to the date of services performed as agreed. This also applies when a final payment is made. A conditional lien waiver is provided before payment and becomes enforceable after payment.
Unconditional waivers also fall under two types: final payment and partial payment. Both final and partial payment means that a contractor releases the right to file a mechanic’s lien on the property. However, unconditional lien waivers are exchanged and enforceable after payment is made.
Know What You’re Waiving
Proceed with caution with lien waivers. You must know your rights and thoroughly understand lien documents. For this reason, it is highly recommended you get the assistance of a qualified Tampa construction lawyer. In your pursuit of final payment, consider what else you could be waiving. Ask yourself the following:
- Will the waiver expose you to more liability?
- Does the waiver increase your contractual responsibility?
- When does the waiver go into effect?
- Are you submitting the lien waiver for a partial or final amount due to you?
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.