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What Is A Mechanic’s Lien In Arizona?


A mechanic’s lien is an encumbrance against real estate. The way that I usually describe this to people is by comparing it to another encumbrance against real estate that people are usually more familiar with—a mortgage. When you buy a new home, you’re going to borrow money from a bank. Your bank will loan you that money to buy the property, and the property will be deeded to you as the home owner, even though the bank paid for it.

The bank has what’s called security interest, which is going to be in the form of a mortgage or a deed of trust. That document is an encumbrance against the real estate. That means that if you, as the owner of the property, ever try to sell it, then anyone who is going to buy it will know that the property is encumbered by a home loan. For example, if you have a $300,000 home and you still owe $200,000 to your bank, then that’s a $200,000 encumbrance against your home. When you sell it, that $200,000 will be paid first and then only what’s left will come to you as the home owner.

A mechanic’s lien operates much the same way, but it gives contractors and companies who supply materials to construction projects the rights to put an encumbrance on a piece of property that they have done work on but haven’t been paid for. For example, if I am a general contractor and the owner hired me to build a million dollar shopping center and I have not been paid, then I would put a mechanic’s lien on the property for the amount I am owed. This gives me the right to be paid from the proceeds of the sale of the property, and also gives me the right to file a lawsuit to force the sale of the property so I can be paid for my work.

Is An Oral Construction Contract Legally Valid?

Under Arizona law, a contractor has to have a contractor’s license in order to perform any work that’s costs $1,000 or more, and a licensed contractor is required to put all of their contracts in writing. So, if you have a very small project with a handyman who is going to hang some drywall for you and will charge you $500, then an oral contract would be enforceable. However, in the vast majority of cases, the contractor is required to have a written contract listing the major terms of the agreement, such as what work they’re going to do and how much they’re going to get paid.

You should always have a written contract. If you as a contractor find yourself in the situation where you don’t have a written contract, but you did the work and you need to use the legal system to receive the payment the property owner verbally agreed to make, there may still be a way to do that. However, it would be very dependent on the specific circumstances of your case and would require a consultation to determine whether you have any rights that can be enforced without a written contract.

Why Should I Retain An Experienced Attorney To Handle A Construction Law Case?

You need a construction lawyer to protect you and give you the best chance of avoiding bigger problems later on. Sometimes problems arise even when you did everything right at the beginning of the Project, such as having a written contract and properly documenting all the terms of your agreement. Even though that does happen sometimes, having a lawyer early on is certainly going to improve your chances of having a smooth project with minimal disputes and hopefully no lawsuits. Hiring an attorney who doesn’t have expertise in construction law is not advisable. If you’re in a construction dispute, you need a construction attorney who knows the ins and outs of construction contracts and the issues that arise in these types of disputes. That way, you are not left surprised and you don’t have to wonder whether your attorney has the experience and expertise to know what to expect and how to handle it.

A construction attorney is probably most valuable before a case ever arises, when you’re just trying to get the documents in place that are going to be in place on your construction project. At that point, a construction attorney can review the contract, make sure that you know what the red flags are in that contract, and maybe even help you negotiate better terms and get rid of some of the contract provisions that are particularly burdensome. This is generally a better idea than just signing the contract and hoping for the best. If something goes wrong down the line, then you could end up paying an attorney thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to represent you in a court case—a case that likely could have been avoided by making sure the legal issues were properly addressed at the beginning of the project.

For more information on Mechanic’s Lien In Arizona, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 378-0466 today.

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