In the event of nonpayment, contractors in Kansas should be familiar with the lien laws governing their ability to file a mechanics lien to obtain due payment. This legal device is one of the most tried-and-true formulas for getting paid and effectively levels the playing field for contractors, subcontractors, and owners. However, if you are unfamiliar with the filing and deadline requirements for mechanics liens, your lien rights could be compromised.
According to the Kansas mechanics lien statute, “Any person furnishing labor, equipment, material, or supplies used or consumed for the improvement of real property…shall have a lien upon the property for the labor, equipment, material or supplies furnished.” In this article, a Wichita contractor lawyer breaks down what this means for contractors.
K.S.A. § 60-1101
If you intend to claim a lien against a piece of property, you must file a statement with the Clerk of the District Court for the county where the property is located. This statement should include the name of the owner, their address, a description of the property, and an itemized document breaking down the amount of the claim. The name of the owner and contractor must be correct; otherwise, the mechanics lien will be deemed defective. Kansas law stipulates that architects and design professionals cannot file a mechanics lien. “Lienable labor” and “lienable materials” refers to physical and mental labor, and can include the value of labor, equipment, materials, and supplies used in the project, as well as any transportation required for project completion.
K.S.A. § 60-1102
This clause helps establish definitions for contractor, subcontractor, and supplier. It also illustrates the contractual relationships between parties contracting directly with the owner or general contractor and those that are not. You can only file a lien if you have furnished provisions of labor or materials directly to the owner or have an agreement with another party involved in a direct contract with the owner.
K.S.A. § 60-1103
In order for subcontractors and suppliers to maintain lien rights, they must furnish provisions of labor or materials to another contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, and these provisions must be incorporated into the final product. In other words, when a material supplier transports materials to a project site, they must be used to grant lien rights. If one party’s relationship to a project is too distant or difficult to define, they will not be entitled to lien rights. It’s also worth noting that subcontractors’ lien rights on residential properties differ from commercial projects. Consult a Wichita contractor lawyer for more information about how your business could be affected from this distinction.
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.