If you’re working on a construction project in Georgia, then there’s a chance you may be interested in how the mechanics lien process works there. Since the law can vary from state to state, it’s important to pay attention to the details of the state you’re working in. If you need to file a mechanics lien Georgia can be a tricky state to get it right in. In this article we brake it down so that you can make sure you’ll get paid.
Know Your Notice Requirements
Georgia only requires preliminary notice when two conditions are met. First, the property owner filed a Notice of Commencement on the project. Second, you contracted with a general contractor or someone other than the owner of the property. If this is the case, then you need to send a preliminary notice within 30 days of when you first work on the project or within 30 days of when the Notice of Commencement was filed. If those two conditions are not met, then preliminary notice is not required. However, sending notice to the property owner of unpaid bills may still be a good idea as it can help motivate the person you contracted with to pay you.
Know Your Deadline
While some states have different filing deadlines for different types of projects, in Georgia, a mechanics lien must be filed within 90 days from the date on which the work was performed or materials supplied.
Do You Need a Notary?
While the law in Georgia does now require mechanics liens to be notarized, it is still a best practice to do so.
Pay Attention to County Fees and Rules
Georgia has 159 counties, each with their own recording offices. Each of those offices will have different preferences on how forms are filed, what details need to be included, and what the filing fee is. Make sure you call and get a list of their preferences before you file your lien.
Know Your Work is Performed
You must file your mechanics lien in the clerk’s office of the county where the property you worked on is located. You must also include a description of the property in the lien sufficient to be able to correctly identify the property. Best practice is to use the metes and bounds description contained in the local property records. If you take the time to obtain this information at the start of the project, you will not only learn the legal description of the property but also the county in which to file your lien.
Are You an Eligible Party?
If you are a contractor on a construction project and you’ve taken no personal security, then you can file a mechanics lien Georgia. This includes everyone from general contractors to architects, engineers, people who provided materials to the project, and equipment renters.
Are You Licensed?
If your profession is one which must be licensed according to the laws of the State of Georgia, then you must be hold a valid and current license in order to file a mechanics lien. This includes asbestos abatement professionals, electricians, plumbers, and general contractors, among others.
Did You Sign a Lien Waiver?
If you signed a document stating you waived your mechanics lien rights in exchange for receipt of payment, but did not actually receive payment, you still have the right to file a lien. However, special deadlines apply to such situations. If you signed the waiver but were not paid, you must file your lien within the shorter of 60 days from the signing of the waiver or 90 days from the last day the signatory on the waiver form worked on the project.
Can You Get Attorney’s Fees?
In Georgia, you cannot recover attorney’s fees as part of your lien claim, though using an attorney can certainly help speed up the process. However, if you complete a successful foreclosure action, you can recover attorney’s fees as well as interest.
The attorneys at National Lien & Bond can help you file your lien and provide the tools you need to recover your costs quickly.