As a North Carolina property owner, developer, contractor, or materials supplier for commercial real estate construction projects, you address state mechanics’ lien laws on a regular basis. It is a relief to know that there are legal protections in place once your company provides services or materials, and having an interest in the subject property sets the stage if you do not receive payment. From another perspective, you can appreciate how North Carolina’s mechanics’ lien statutes hold other parties accountable for their contractual duties.
However, general information about the relevant legal concepts may not be enough when it comes to the very intricate process involved with mechanics’ liens. Instead of putting your company’s interests at risk, it is wise to rely on a Gaston County commercial real estate lawyer for assistance. Some answers to common questions about mechanics’ liens may supplement your current understanding of how they work.
Who can take action on a mechanics’ lien?
The statute outlines options for any party who provides labor, professional design, surveying services, or materials pursuant to a contract with the commercial property owner. However, there are some tricky legal issues when it comes to parties who are NOT in direct contract with the owner. Subcontractors only have rights when they follow strict mechanics’ lien rules and steps for perfecting their interests; others may only preserve their rights by filing a claim on funds due to the contractor that hired them.
What do I need to include in a North Carolina mechanics’ lien?
The statute lays out the types of information required to make a lien effective, including:
- Contact information for the relevant parties;
- A legal description of the real estate to which the lien will attach;
- The dates upon which the services and/or supplies were furnished upon the property; and
- The amount due for labor and materials.
Where do I file a mechanics’ lien?
All liens must be filed with officials for the relevant county where the commercial real estate is located. The Register of Deeds for Gaston, NC will note the claim and docket it under the name of the property owner of record, informing the public of your security interest in the real estate.
Is there a difference between filing and enforcing a mechanics’ lien?
Yes, the law provides that a lien exists and takes effect from the time a contractor furnishes labor or materials; however, a mechanics’ lien is not perfected until it is filed and served upon the property owner and other relevant parties. Then, if there are issues with nonpayment, there are separate requirements for enforcing it.
How important are statutory deadlines for North Carolina mechanics’ liens?
Put simply, complying with time restrictions is critical to protecting your interests. Some of the dates to note include:
- You have 120 days from the date you last provided services or supplies to file the lien with county officials.
- You are allowed 180 days from last furnishing materials or labor to initiate an action to enforce a mechanics’ lien.
From these deadlines, you can see that you might have just 60 days from filing to enforcing a mechanics’ lien.
Get Additional Answers from a North Carolina Commercial Real Estate Attorney
Regardless of your role in a commercial real estate construction project, an in-depth understanding of state mechanics’ liens law is critical. When you trust our experienced lawyers at Mullen Holland & Cooper P.A. to handle the process, you are better able to dedicate time to running your successful business. For more information, please contact our offices in Gastonia, NC by calling 704.864.6751 or visit our website to set up a consultation with a member of our team. We represent commercial real estate clients throughout Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina in a wide range of legal matters, so we are ready to serve your needs.