Contractors should have owners file a certificate of completion (or notice of completion) to alert the county when a project is completed. There are many reasons why contractors and owners should file a certificate of completion, but it’s important to understand that this vital piece of documentation helps resolve your contractual obligation and submits in writing that you, the contractor, are no longer responsible for providing labor or materials to the project in question.
In this two-part series, the Houston construction lawyers at Cotney Law will explain how certificates of completion help owners and contractors wrap up construction projects.
Filing a Certificate of Completion
If the owner has hired multiple contractors to complete separate portions of a project, the owner can file a certificate of completion for each contractor since completion of their specific tasks constitutes a completed work. In other words, the owner can file certificates of completion as the project proceeds as long as contractors meet the objectives established in the contract.
Once you have completed all of the work outlined in your contract, the owner has 15 days to file a certificate of completion with the county recorder’s office. If the owner abides by this time frame, the length of time allowed for contractors or suppliers is reduced to as little as 30 days after completion. If the owner misses the 15-day deadline, the certificate of completion will be rejected. In this situation, the contractor is afforded additional time for filing a lien. Subcontractors and suppliers receive an extra 60 days from the date of completion, while general contractors get an additional 90 days to file.
Required Information for a Certificate of Completion
A certificate of completion requires specific information to be processed by the county recorder’s office. This information includes:
- The name and address of the owner, general contractor, and if available, the lender.
- A sufficient description of the project site for identification including the street address.
- The name, address, and relationship of all relevant parties.
- The name of the general contractor under contract and a general statement of the work to be completed.
- The name and address of the successor’s transferor, if available.
- The nature of the interest or estate of the owner.
- The date of completion.
When the owner is ready to file the certificate of completion, they will take it to the county recorder’s office in the county where the project is located.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.i>