Mechanic's liens are used to compel an owner or other party to pay an outstanding bill for a work of improvement on real property. For instance, a contractor that completes work on a property might get stiffed on a bill due to disagreement about the scope of work or a baseless complaint about the finished job. Because liens prevent an owner from selling or refinancing a property (or make it difficult to do so), liens are an effective remedy for contractors and other parties to earn their payment.
In Indiana, mechanic's liens are available to a contractor, subcontractor, mechanic, or a lessor leasing construction and other equipment and tools. IC 32-28-3-1(a). Such liens can be granted to parties involved in the erection, alteration, repair, or removal of a house, mill, manufactory, or other building. Id. They are also available for operations involving waterworks, earthmoving, or other drainage and sewerage works. Id.
Any eligible claimant can get a lien, either separately or jointly, on the structure or property that the person erected, altered, repaired, moved, or removed. IC 32-28-3-1(b). The same terms apply to parties who furnished materials or machinery. Id. A claimant can also levy a lien on the interest of the owner of the lot or parcel of land on which the structure or improvement stands or with which the structure or improvement is connected. Id. The lien is limited, however, to the extent of the value of any labor done or the material furnished, or both, including any use of the leased equipment and tools. Id. For parties providing labor only, any claims for wages of employed mechanics and laborers will be in the form of a lien on the machinery, tools, stock, material, or finished or unfinished work. IC 32-28-3-1(c).
To claim a lien, the claimant selling or furnishing labor, material, or machinery for an owner occupied single or double family dwelling to anyone other than the occupying owner or the owner's legal representative, must furnish the occupying owner a written notice of the delivery or work and of the existence of lien rights not later than thirty (30) days after the date of first delivery or labor performed. IC 32-28-3-1(h). The Notice of Furnishing is a required step to acquire a lien upon the lot or parcel of land or the improvement on the lot or parcel of land. Id. If the project is a single or double family dwelling intended for the occupying owner, then the written notice must be furnished to the owner of the real estate along with a written notice of delivery or labor and the existence of lien rights not later than sixty (60) days after the date of the first delivery or labor performed. IC 32-28-3-1(i). Additionally, a copy of the written notice must be filed in the recorder's office of the county where the property is situated, not later than sixty (60) days after the date of the first delivery or labor performed. Id
Filing the actual mechanic's lien is accomplished by recording a document called a "Notice of Intention to Hold Mechanic's Lien." The required notices described above must have been sent or else the lien will be limited to any time after such notice is sent. Any person who wishes to acquire a lien upon public property or property held by three or more tenants, whether the claim is due or not, must file in duplicate a sworn statement and notice of the person's intention to hold a lien upon the property for the amount of the claim: (1) in the recorder's office of the county; and (2) not later than ninety (90) days after performing labor or furnishing materials or machinery. IC 32-28-3-3(a).
Any person who wishes to acquire a lien upon property held as a dwelling unit, whether the claim is due or not, must file in duplicate a sworn statement and notice of the person's intention to hold a lien upon the property for the amount of the claim: (1) in the recorder's office of the county; and (2) not later than sixty (60) days after performing labor or furnishing materials or machinery. IC 32-28-3-3(b).
The statement and notice of intention to hold a lien may be verified and filed on behalf of a client by an attorney registered with the clerk of the supreme court as an attorney in good standing under the requirements of the supreme court. Id.
A statement and notice of intention to hold a lien filed under this section must specifically set forth: (1) the amount claimed; (2) the name and address of the claimant; (3) the owner's: (A) name; and (B) latest address as shown on the property tax records of the county; and (4) the: (A) legal description; and (B) street and number, if any; of the lot or land on which the house, mill, manufactory or other buildings, bridge, reservoir, system of waterworks, or other structure may stand or be connected with or to which it may be removed. IC 32-28-3-3(c).
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice from an attorney. Please consult with an Indiana attorney for any questions regarding filing mechanic's liens.
Deeds.com Indiana Mechanics Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Friday October 26, 2018