Under Massachusetts law, a contractor or subcontractor furnishing labor, material, equipment, or tools must file and record a Notice of Contract to claim a mechanic's lien. The Notice of Contract also puts all parties on notice that the party filing may have a claim for a mechanic's lien.
Whoever furnishes labor, including subcontractor construction management services, or furnishes material, labor and material, rental equipment, appliances or tools, or who performs professional services, under a written contract with a contractor, or with a subcontractor of the contractor, may file or record in the registry of deeds for the county or district where such land lies a notice of his contract. M.G.L. C. 254, 4.
The Notice of Contract contains the date of the contract, the names of the parties to the contract, the property owner's name and address, the address of the subject property and a legal land description, and a description of the contract amount as well as any modifications and amounts in dispute. Id.
The Notice should be filed or recorded any time after the written contract is executed, whether or not the date for performance stated in the written contract has passed and whether or not the work under the contract has been performed, but not later than the earliest of: (i) sixty days after filing or recording the notice of substantial completion; or (ii) ninety days after filing or recording the notice of termination; or (iii) ninety days after the last day a person entitled to enforce a lien or anyone claiming by, through or under him performed or furnished labor or materials or both labor and materials to the project or furnished rental equipment, appliances or tools, or performed professional services. Id.
The notice may also be filed by a person, or an authorized representative or third party beneficiary to whom amounts are due, or for whose benefit amounts are computed and due on the basis of that person performing labor under a written contract with a contractor, or with a subcontractor of such contractor. The person filing such notice shall not be required to itemize the amount of the contract, the amount of pending changes in the contract, the amount of outstanding claims or the amount paid in such notice. Id.
Upon the filing or recording of the notice, and giving actual notice to the owner of the filing, the subcontractor will have a lien upon the property, land, building, structure or improvement owned by the party who entered into the original contract as it appears in record at the time of the filing. Id. The lien will be used to secure the payment of all labor and material and rental equipment, appliances or tools or professional services which the subcontract will furnish or has furnished for the building or structure or other improvement, regardless of the amount stated in the notice of contract. Id.
The lien amount may not exceed the amount due or to become due under the original contract as of the date the notice of the filing of the subcontract is given by the subcontractor to the owner. Id.
Filing the notice of contract is a necessary step to perfect the mechanic's lien. A lien alone may not guarantee payment, however, and a lawsuit to enforce the lien or a foreclosure action may be required.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional legal advice. If you have any questions about filing a mechanic's lien in Massachusetts, please consult with an attorney.
Deeds.com Massachusetts Notice of Contract Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Friday September 13, 2019
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