Virginia Mechanic's Lien by a Subcontractor
In Virginia, a lien claimant may make a claim for a mechanic's lien by completing and recording a "Memorandum for Mechanic's Lien" document. There are separate versions of the Memorandum depending on whether the claimant is a contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor.
In general, a mechanic's lien claim is made when a property owner or other person in the chain has not paid the contractor or others owed payment. The lien works as a security device by placing an encumbrance on the property, which in turn prompts the property's owner to pay in order to remove the lien. Liens can also be sought against payment funds, for example, by preventing a contractor from being paid by the owner until the subcontractors are paid.
A general contractor must file a memorandum of lien at any time after the work is commenced or material furnished, but not later than 90 days from the last day of the month in which he last performs labor or furnishes material, and a maximum of 90 days from the time the work ends. Va. Code 43-4. The memorandum is then filed in the clerk's office in the county or city in which the property is located. Id.
The memorandum must show: (1) the name of the owner of the property, (2) the claimant of the lien, (3) the amount and consideration of the claim, (4) the time or times when the claim is or will be due and payable, (5) a verification by the oath of the claimant, or his agent, including a statement declaring his intention to claim the benefit of the lien, and (6) a brief description of the property. Id. It must also contain the claimant's license or certificate number issued by the Board for Contractors, if any, and the date such license or certificate was issued as well as the date such license or certificate expires. Id.
A subcontractor follows the same process as for a lien by a general contractor, plus additional entries for the general contractor's and property owner's names. In addition, the subcontractor must also give notice in writing to the owner of the property or his agent of the amount and character of his claim. Va. Code 43-7. The subcontractor's lien may not exceed the amount owed to the general contractor at the time the notice is given. Id.
In conclusion, a mechanic's lien is a powerful tool when used properly. By keeping track of key dates and parties in each construction job, contractors can protect their rights.
This article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Please contact an attorney with any questions about filing a Virginia Memorandum for a Mechanic's Lien.
Deeds.com Virginia Subcontractor Memorandum for Mechanics Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Tuesday January 15, 2019
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