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Claiming a Construction Lien in Utah

In Utah, mechanic's liens are governed under Title 38, Chapter 1A of the Utah Code.

Construction liens, also known as mechanic's liens, are used the put a block or burden on an owner's title when construction work or materials delivery has taken place on the owner's property and the person or company providing the work or materials is not paid according to the contract. In Utah, a construction lien means a lien for construction work. Utah Code Ann. 38-1A-102(8). Construction work means labor, service, material, or equipment provided for the purpose and during the process of constructing, altering, or repairing an improvement; and includes scheduling, estimating, staking, supervising, managing, materials testing, inspection, observation, and quality control or assurance involved in constructing, altering, or repairing an improvement. 38-1A-102(11).

To enforce a preconstruction lien or construction lien in Utah, a claimant shall file an action to enforce the lien within 180 days after the day on which the claimant files: (i) a notice of preconstruction lien, for a preconstruction lien; or (ii) a notice of construction lien, for a construction lien. Utah Code Ann. 38-1A-701(2)(a). Each notice must be filed with the county recorder in the county where the property is located. However, if an owner files for protection under the bankruptcy laws of the United States before the expiration of the 180-day period, the lien must be filed within 90 days after the automatic stay under the bankruptcy proceeding is lifted or expires. 38-1A-701(2)(b).

A claimant shall file for record with each applicable county recorder a notice of the pendency of the action. Utah Code Ann. 38-1A-701(3)(a)(i). If a claimant fails to file for record a notice of the pendency of the action, the preconstruction lien or construction lien, as applicable, is void, except as to persons who have been made parties to the action and persons having actual knowledge of the commencement of the action. 38-1A-701(3)(a)(ii). The burden of proof is upon the claimant and those claiming under the claimant to show actual knowledge. 38-1A-701(3)(b). A preconstruction lien or construction lien is automatically and immediately void if an action to enforce the lien is not filed within the time required. 38-1A-701(4)(a).

If a claimant files an action to enforce a preconstruction or construction lien involving a residence, the claimant must, when serving the complaint to the owner, include: (i) instructions relating to the owner's rights under Title 38, Chapter 11, Residence Lien Restriction and Lien Recovery Fund Act; and (ii) a form to enable the owner of the residence to specify the grounds upon which the owner may exercise those available rights. Utah Code Ann. 38-1A-701(6)(a). If a claimant fails to provide the instructions and form as required, the claimant is barred from maintaining or enforcing the preconstruction or construction lien upon the residence. 38-1A-701(6)(c).

This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice from an attorney. Please contact a Utah attorney with questions about filing a notice of claim, or with any other issues regarding construction liens.

Deeds.com Utah Notice of Claim Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Thursday July 9, 2020

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Utah Notice of Claim Form