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Construction liens give contractors rights

Most of the time, clients in Idaho pay contractors for work. However, some clients resist payment. Whether it’s because they don’t like the final product or just don’t want to pay, the result is the same for the person who did the job: a lot of effort and no money to show for it.

That’s not the end of the story, though. When a client refuses to pay, the contractor can file a construction lien.

What construction liens do

A construction lien is a form of legal recourse for builders, contractors and subcontractors when a client refuses to pay. Sometimes called mechanic’s liens, construction liens block an owner’s ability to sell or refinance a property. They restrict the owner’s rights and complicate the validity of the property’s deed.

What happens when you file a construction lien

When you file a construction lien, you gain an interest in ownership of the property at issue. This interest creates interference when an owner attempts to sell a property and transfer a clear title to the new buyer. Compounding issues for the property owner, banks are hesitant to give loans to anyone with a lien on his or her property. Potential buyers are also wary of such properties.

In some circumstances, a construction lien can force an owner to sell the property for the sole purpose of paying back the contractor. At other times, the person who filed the lien can foreclose on the property.

In short, filing a construction lien is a last resort for getting clients to pay what they owe you.

If at all possible, communicate with clients to get the necessary payments. Nevertheless, if a client still refuses to pay, you may benefit from contacting a lawyer with experience in commercial construction law.