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Protect Your Home Against Mechanic’s Liens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Muzaam   
Thursday, 01 July 2010 07:29
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If you undertake a major renovation or addition, you need to know about mechanics liens and how you can protect yourself against them. Not understanding what privilege is, or how it works may lead to you having to pay for the same work twice or even worse to have to fight against the closure of your home. Here is a layman's interpretation of how the mechanics work privileges and how you can protect yourself.

What a privilege mechanic?

* Lien A mechanic is a remedy, subcontractors and suppliers who are not paid in supplies or work in a building construction project - as an addition or renovation. When someone registers a mechanic lien on your property it becomes a charge on your property, making it impossible for you to sell your house and you might even potentially be losing the lien in a lawsuit.

Why should I care about the privileges mechanic if I pay the contractor?

* It is unlikely the prime contractor would put a lien on your property, but he has not paid his trades and suppliers who worked on your project, they may as well put a lien against you, even if you paid the contractor. To remove the burden you may be forced to pay the subcontractor or supplier of their work, even if it has already paid the contractor for their work. In other words, you will pay for the same work twice.

* Some states have laws designed to protect the owner of a mechanics lien in cases where he paid the prime contractor, but unfortunately, many do not. Think, if you and your contractor are in dispute and work on your project stopped, it is unlikely that all suppliers and submarines have been paid. You need to consult a lawyer to understand what the law in your state.

Can I do something to protect myself mechanics lien?

Here are some things you can do proactively to ensure your renewal does not get bogged down with the privileges of a mechanic.

* Start by hiring a reliable, reputable contractor has been in business for a number of years. Although years in the business does not mean that your contractor can not be in financial trouble and abandon your job, it is an indication that he went through lean times before and has managed its way through the
* Use a written contract that defines each stage of work, list of subcontractors and suppliers for each interim step and sets the end of each step.
* Make checks payable jointly to both the prime contractor and the supplier or trades that must be paid with the funds. Joint monitoring of the recipient ensures the contractor and the supplier / subcontractor must endorse the check to cash it. By doing this you help ensure the subcontractors are actually paid.
* You can get more protection by requiring your contractor to provide lien wavers for suppliers and trades every time you make a payment by installment. A lien waver should include a statement that the subs or suppliers have been paid and are an important condition to be included in the original contract for a major renovation.
* Finally, actively supervise the project and ensure that all changes to the original plan are included in the contract (with progress payments).

Do not let your renovation dream become a nightmare. Take time to learn about mechanics liens and how they operate in your state. Consult a lawyer about the best ways to protect yourself during and after your renovations.
Murray Anderson is a freelance writer and experienced with over 500 articles published on the Web and in magazines and newspapers print both the U.S. and Canada.

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