When it comes to construction projects, getting paid can be a complicated process. Fortunately, Missouri law provides a tool to help ensure payment for contractors and suppliers: mechanics liens. If you work in construction in Missouri, knowing how mechanics liens work and how they can help might mean the difference in getting paid for your work.
Fairly straightforward tool
Mechanics liens are a type of security interest that contractors, suppliers and/or laborers who have provided work or materials for a construction project can place on a property. In Missouri, the governing of mechanics liens is by state law and can be a powerful tool for ensuring payment. Construction law is complex, but mechanics liens are relatively straightforward.
To file this type of lien in Missouri, you’ll need to follow several specific steps, including the following:
- Sending notice of your intent to file the lien
- Filing the lien with the county recorder of deeds
- Serving notice of the lien on the property owner
One key aspect of Missouri mechanics liens is the role of preliminary notices. A preliminary notice is a document sent to the property owner and other parties involved in a construction project before the filing of the lien. In Missouri, the deadline for filing a preliminary notice is generally the earlier of ten days after the first furnishing of labor or materials or 30 days after the start of the project.
Protection for contractors
Missouri’s mechanics lien laws protect contractors, suppliers and laborers who otherwise would have to go without payment for their work. These laws require the following of procedures, and failure to do so can result in a lien being unenforceable. However, a mechanics lien can be a powerful tool if done correctly.
Be aware: these liens can be a contentious issue in the construction industry, with property owners often objecting to filing liens.
Steps to protect your business
If you’re working on a construction project in Missouri, familiarize yourself with these laws and take steps to protect yourself and your business. Knowing Missouri mechanics liens’ intricacies is essential to your financial interests. By following the necessary procedures and deadlines, you can ensure your lien is valid and enforceable.