Mechanic's liens are governed under Chapter 572 of Iowa Code. A waiver is a conscious relinquishment of a right. In this case, the person granting the waiver is relinquishing the right to seek a mechanic's lien for all or part of the amount due. This assurance is usually enough to get the other party to pay. In Iowa, there are no statutory forms for waivers although according to the principles of contract law, the parties may agree to such modifications in writing.
Generally, waivers come in four varieties: conditional or unconditional, and based on a partial/progress or final payment. Conditional waivers only become effective after the responsible party's check clears the bank on which it was drawn, and provide more protection for the claimants. Unconditional waivers go into effect immediately, tend to favor the owners' interests, and should only be used after payment is confirmed. Waiving lien rights after a partial payment allows the claimant to retain some lien rights, but to release others based on the amount paid on the overall balance due. Waivers upon final payments remove the claimant's eligibility to place a lien because they state that the account is paid in full.
Regardless of the nature, waivers must identify the parties, the location of the project, relevant dates, and payments.
An unconditional waiver is effective when signed and given to the property owner, and waives part of the lien amount representing the partial payment made. Unconditional waivers are effective regardless if payment is actually made. So if accepting a payment via check, only use an unconditional waiver if there are no doubts about whether the check will clear the bank.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice from a legal professional. Please contact an Iowa attorney with any questions about sending notice to property owners or anything else with regard to mechanic's liens.
Deeds.com Iowa Unconditional Waiver on Partial Payment Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Tuesday February 5, 2019
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