Mechanic’s liens may be the most reliable way to receive payment when an owner’s funds dry up. As our Houston construction lien attorneys know, Texas arguably has the most complicated rules in place for anyone interested in securing payment. Fortunately, a Houston construction lien attorney took the time to create an in-depth presentation outlining the deadlines involved in filing a mechanic’s lien in Texas. You can view this presentation here.
In part one of this four-part article, we summarised a description of the tiers that an owed party can fall into as well as the Notice of Retainment that should be sent prior to work commencing. Now, we will continue to discuss the complicated deadlines that contractors and subcontractors will face when attempting to file a lien in Texas.
Deadlines for Second- and Third-Tier Contractors (Subcontractors)
All contractors must send a notice to the owner informing them of nonpayment every month. If you contracted directly with the owner, then you are the original contractor and have more leeway on commercial projects and less leeway on residential projects (more on that in part three). For commercial projects, the original contractor only has one filing, the Lien Affidavit, which is due the 15th day of the fourth month after the non-payment lien trigger. The lien trigger is the last day of the last month that the original contract was completed, finally settled, terminated, or abandoned.
In contrast to the above, third-tier contractors must send two notices every month when they are not paid. We’ve laid out the deadlines for notices for second- and third-tier contractors below.
- Non-Payment Notice Trigger: The last day of the month that work was performed and not paid for in full
- Non-Payment Notice: 15th day of the third month for second-tier contractors and sent to owners and original contractors. 15th day of the second month for third-tier contractors and sent only to original contractors
- Second Non-Payment Notice: 15th day of the third month for third-tier contractors and sent to the owner and original contractor
- Lien Trigger: The last day of the last month that labor or materials were provided
- Lien Affidavit: The 15th day of the fourth month
- Notice of Non-Payment Lien Affidavit: Five days after the lien affidavit was filed to the owner
You can follow this link to watch the corresponding discussion in the presentation. Even with the deadlines laid out above, the language needed for the notices and affidavit is incredibly specific. Please consult with a Houston construction lien attorney in order to ensure that your mechanic’s lien is correctly filed.
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.