NEVADA’S MECHANIC AND MATERIALMAN’S LIENS MOST COMMON MISTAKES
Having the ability to lien a property you performed work on or provided materials for can be a huge advantage for Nevada licensed contractors and others in getting paid. However, because a lien is such a powerful tool, it comes with very specific rules that must be followed or the courts may not enforce the lien. Click here for an overview of Nevada’s lien laws and eligibility requirements.) We prosecute and defend lien claims on a regular basis and these are the most common mistakes we see people make.
1. The lien claimant is not qualified to record a lien. Mechanics liens are reserved for any person who provides work, material or equipment with a value of $500 or more to be used in or for the construction, alteration or repair of any improvement, property or work of improvement. The term includes, without limitation, every artisan, builder, potential claimant under NRS 608.150, contractor, laborer, lessor or renter of equipment, materialman, miner, subcontractor or other person who provides work, material or equipment, and any person who performs services as an architect, engineer, land surveyor or geologist, in relation to the improvement, property or work of improvement.
While this is a pretty broad list of people – it doesn’t include everyone. For instance, an unlicensed contractor who performs work which requires a contractor’s license, cannot legally lien a property, but they often do. If someone has recorded a lien on your property, it’s best to have an attorney evaluate whether that lien was recorded by a proper lien claimant. If not, that lien can be removed through a special process which can provide for the reimbursement of your attorneys’ fees if successful.
2. The proper notices were never sent or served. Specific notices must be sent well in advance of recording a lien in order to perfect (make enforceable) the lien. These differ depending on if you have a contract directly with the owner of the property or rather, if you have a contract with somebody else like a general contractor or a lessor. Further still, additional and different notices must be sent depending on if the project is commercial versus residential. Failure to send the correct notice, with the correct content, to the correct person or entity can be the difference between having an enforceable lien and recovering your money – or getting nothing and having to pay someone else’s attorney fees. Call us first- and early in the process – if you have questions!
3. Missing deadlines. There’s a bunch. Right to Lien, 15-Day Warning, Notice of Lien- filing a lawsuit. There are several stages to the process of collecting on a mechanic’s lien and all of them have unforgiving deadlines. Here’s just one: Did you know that the lien, once recorded with the country recorder’s office, is only good for six months? In fact, a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien must be filed within six months or the lien will become unenforceable and a blight on title. If your lien has not been paid, contact a lawyer well before the deadline so that the lien is not lost to time. On the other hand, if there is an old lien on your property causing you trouble, contact us to get it removed!
Not all mistakes are fatal, and every rule has an exception, but having to deal with a faulty lien means more legal work, delays and possible diminution of your ultimate recovery. That’s why if you are prosecuting or defending a Nevada mechanic’s lien claim, it is essential to speak with an experienced mechanic’s lien attorney to evaluate your case and provide a winning legal strategy. We’ve been dealing with mechanic’s liens for well over 25 years and have the knowledge and experience to handle your lien issue effectively and efficiently. Call us at 702-405-0001 for a no-cost consultation.