Conditional Waiver and Release of Lien on Final Payment
In Maryland, mechanic's liens are governed under Chapter 9 of the Maryland Real Property Code. The term "waiver" refers to giving up a legal right. In this case, the person granting the waiver is giving up 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. Maryland does not use statutory forms for waivers; according to the principles of contract law, the parties may agree to such modifications in writing. Maryland law, however, specifically prohibits any waiver requirement in a contract. Md. Real Prop. Code sections 9-113.
Typically, waivers come in four varieties: unconditional after a progress payment, unconditional after the final payment, conditional after a progress payment, and conditional after the final payment. Unconditional means the waiver is granted immediately, while conditional waivers depend on the property owner meeting specific requirements (conditions), such as the payment clearing the bank, before the waiver takes effect. So, unconditional waivers benefit the owner, and conditional waivers tend to favor the claimant. The payment distinctions are based on the amount due on the project, so progress payment refers to money paid on account, and final payment waivers are used once the balance is paid in full.
A valid lien waiver identifies the parties, the location of the project, relevant dates and payments, and any other information necessary for the specific transaction. After signing the form, the claimant records it with the local agency responsible for maintaining land records.
A final conditional waiver should be used when the full and final payment is made if there are any doubts about the payment method. For instance, if there are any concerns a final check won't clear, opt for a conditional waiver. The waiver is only effective upon the payment going through within a specified number of days.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice from an attorney. Please contact a Maryland construction law attorney with questions about waivers or anything else about mechanic's liens.
Deeds.com Maryland Conditional Lien Waiver on Final Payment Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Friday January 11, 2019
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