The Intricacies of Filing a Mechanic’s Lien in Texas Part 1

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Texas is by far the state with the most complicated rules and regulations for filing a mechanic’s lien. The notices, deadlines, and language that must be used vary from situation to situation and from contractor to subcontractor to supplier. In this four-part article, we’ll be summarizing an incredible presentation by one of our Houston construction attorneys at Cotney Law, detailing the deadlines and steps to take in order to file a mechanic’s lien in The Lone Star State. To view part one of this in-depth presentation, please follow this link.   

Sending a Notice of Retainage

The State of Texas does not require an owner to send a Notice of Commencement out to contractors. This can cause contractors to have to scramble when they are forced to collect all of the necessary information to file a mechanic’s lien. That’s why we recommend sending a Notice of Retainage/Request for Information to an owner before work begins on a project.

The Notice of Retainage should request the following information:

  • A legal description of the improved property
  • The name and address of the surety and a copy of the bond if there is a surety bond
  • Confirmation of and amounts of prior recorded liens, bond claims, and security interests on the property
  • The names and addresses of persons having prior recorded liens, bond claims, and security interests on the property
  • The date of execution for the original contracts
  • The owner’s name and address
  • The original contractor’s name and address
  • The original contract’s dates of termination or abandonment
  • The Affidavit of Completion

If you do not send a Notice of Retainage at the beginning of a project, you will be forced to request information while up against a tight deadline. We encourage you to consult with a Houston construction attorney when filing a mechanic’s lien to ensure that all necessary information is collected in a timely fashion.

Know Your Tier  

The deadlines to send notices to owners depends entirely on what tier you fall under in the project hierarchy. This is what makes filing a mechanic’s lien in Texas so complicated and the primary reason why you should do so only with the aid of a Houston construction attorney. Depending on your tier, you may be required to send notices more frequently and by earlier dates. These tiers are as follows:

  1. Original contractors
  2. Second- and third-tier contractors (subcontractors)
  3. Suppliers

Join us in parts two, three, and four as we discuss the deadlines involved with filing a mechanic’s lien for second-tier contractors, third-tier contractors, and suppliers as well as the deadlines and requirements for residential properties.  

If you would like to speak with one of our Houston construction attorneys, please contact us today.

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.