Alaska Waiver of Lien Rights

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If a potential claimant has filed a notice of right to lien, the claimant may relinquish the right by filing a waiver of lien rights. Once filed, the claimant waives lien rights for labor, materials, services, or equipment furnished up to the date of execution. The waiver also operates as a defense to any lien filed by the claimant (and the claimant would likely be liable for any resulting damages).

When payments are made, lien waivers act as a sort of receipt, stating implicitly that a payment or arrangement for payment has been made by the owner for the potential lien claimant's furnishing labor, materials, services, or equipment for the project at hand. A waiver does not waive future rights to lien for labor, materials, services, or equipment furnished after the date the waiver is signed by the claimant (AS 34.5.117(a)).

A written waiver of lien rights is valid and binding in Alaska when signed by a claimant, and it requires no consideration (AS 34.35.117(a)). Notwithstanding the statutory guidance, best practices dictate that claimants withhold waivers until they receive and confirm payment.

Companies, suppliers, or general contractors (or, persons eligible to file a lien, as specified by AS 34.35.050) may file a waiver of lien rights in Alaska. Individuals, as defined under AS 34.35.120(10), may not waive their rights to lien. This includes individuals who perform labor as an employee of the owner or a contractor.

In addition to being executed and signed by the claimant, an effective waiver of lien rights includes a statement that the claimant is waiving rights, the date through which rights are waived (the date of execution), and a full legal description of the affected property. It also names the party who contracted the claimant for the labor, materials, services, or equipment, as well as the reputed owner of the property. Before recording the waiver in the recording district in which the property subject to the improvements is located, ensure it meets standards of form and content as required by AS 40.17.030.

Consult an attorney with questions about lien waivers, or for any other issues regarding real property in Alaska.

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