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Mechanic's liens are governed under Chapter 376 of Kentucky Revised Statutes (K.R.S.). Although Kentucky law doesn't provide a required format for a waiver, claimants can use various types of lien waivers in order to simplify payments between contractors, subcontractors, customers, and property owners. A waiver is a knowing 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.
Lien waivers are generally either based on a partial/progress payment or a final payment, and may be conditional or unconditional. Partial waivers release a portion of the lien rights, determined by the amount paid. Final waivers release all lien rights because the balance is paid in full. Conditional waivers give more protection to the claimant, and are dependent on any payments clearing the bank. Unconditional waivers give the advantage to the party responsible for paying, and take effect immediately upon recording, regardless of whether or not the bank covers the check.
Regardless of their nature, waivers must identify the parties, a description of the location and type of goods and/or services provided, significant dates, fees, and payments. Record the completed waiver in the office responsible for maintaining the land records for the county where the subject property is located.
The final unconditional waiver is the most comprehensive option. Once recorded, it will forfeit any lien right for the final payment amount regardless of payment being verified. Be cautious about using this waiver, because recording it removes an option for recourse if something goes wrong with the payment. With that in mind, verify that the funds actually go through (meaning the check has cleared) before giving up the right to lien.
This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice from a legal professional. Please speak with an attorney with questions about using a lien waiver, or for any other issues related to liens in Kentucky.
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