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What you need to know about Idaho mechanics liens

If you are a contractor in Idaho, there’s always a chance that a client may refuse to pay you for a job that you’ve already performed. Before getting into a contract, it may be helpful to protect yourself with a lien, which basically serves as a guarantee for payment.

Understanding Idaho mechanics liens

Idaho mechanics liens are a type of security interest granted by construction law to unpaid contractors or subcontractors who have improved property or provided services. The lien attaches itself to the owner’s title and enables a contractor to secure payment for work performed on a specific job.

How it works

A mechanics lien works like a lawsuit. You must file it with the county clerk and records office to give public notice of the claim. When the judge enforces the lien, it would be impossible for anyone to sell or borrow against the property in dispute until you resolve your claim.

To file an Idaho mechanics lien, you must:

  • Have a written contract or proof of an agreement between you and your client
  • Include detailed information about your contract (i.e., labor costs, material costs, etc.)
  • Specify how much money is outstanding
  • Provide proper notices to all parties involved
  • File the claim within 90 days after completion of services or materials provided

Preparing the Idaho mechanics lien

Every mechanics lien must contain the owner’s name, a general description of the property, its location, the first and last day of work and a statement of the amount owed. It may also include statutorily mandated language, and the claimant must sign it.

Realizing payment

After you file the lien, you have a few options to secure your compensation. You may choose to negotiate and come up with an agreement with the owner or lender. Or you can take legal action against them in court and wait for a judgment.

It is important to note that allowing too much time to lapse without filing a mechanics lien can result in forfeiture of your rights as a contractor. In Idaho, you must file a mechanics lien within 90 days after your last supply of labor or materials.