There’s nothing more frustrating than committing to a real property improvement contract, meeting the terms of the agreement, and then failing to secure payment because the owner is being unscrupulous. Unfortunately, this is a common issue in the construction industry, and depending on your role in the project and the state you work in, the rules governing how you can respond will differ. When you’re dealing with nonpayment in North Carolina, consult a Charlotte contractor attorney from Cotney Construction Law for help filing and perfecting a mechanic’s lien against an owner that refuses to pay.
Who is Involved?
Whether you’re a general contractor or a subcontractor, you have lien rights when working on the improvement of real property in North Carolina. The general contractor possesses a direct contractual relationship with the owner of the real property being improved, and the subcontractor has a similar relationship with the general contractor. There can also be multiple tiers of subcontractors working under subcontractors depending on the scope of the project.
Rules for General Contractors
To perfect a lien against an owner, a general contractor must meet all the lien notice requirements established in North Carolina law, serve a copy of the lien to the owner, and file a lawsuit to enforce the lien. First, you must send a Notice to Lien Agent within 15 days of the first provision of labor or materials. Then, the mechanic’s lien must be filed and served no later than 120 days after the last provision of labor or materials and enforced within 180 days of that same date. Meeting these deadlines can be more troublesome than you might expect, and a simple error could leave you without legal recourse to get paid. Consult a Charlotte construction litigation attorney to ensure that you meet all deadlines and follow the proper procedures to perfect a lien against an owner.
Rules for Subcontractors
Subcontractors are required to meet similar requirements when attempting to procure payment through a mechanic’s lien. However, in addition to filing a Notice to Lien Agent within 15 days of the first provision of labor or materials, they must also furnish a Notice of Subcontract after a Notice of Contract has been established. The lien must be served within 120 days of the final provision of labor or materials and enforced within 180 days of that same date. Consult a Charlotte construction litigation lawyer for more information on how you can secure payment in the event of nonpayment.
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.