In Colorado, a mechanic's lien requires certain information to be included for the mechanics' lien to have an effect. If the lien is insufficient in any way, the lien could be deemed invalid or unenforceable.
I'm a subcontractor on the project and I don't know who the owner is. What do I do?
The true owner of the property should be identified on the notice of intent to lien. The lien claimant should request the name of the property owner when beginning the job. However, sometimes this information is withheld. Property owner information can usually be found by checking with the county assessor's office or other real property databases. It is possible that the contractor has dealt with someone whom he believes is the owner but is actually a renter or agent of the owner. Not knowing the correct owner can lead to issues in the lien process. It is important to locate this information before sending out your notice of intent to lien.
Do I have to notify anyone else?
The contractor recording the lien must include his or her information in the lien. If the claimant is a subcontractor or anyone other than the prime contractor, the claimant should also include the information of the prime contractor in the lien. If the claimant does not know who the prime contractor is, he or she can include a statement in the lien that says they do not know the prime contractor's identity. In addition to the prime contractor, the filing party needs to include the information of the party that hired them for the project, if different.
What else needs to be included in the mechanic's lien?
A description of the property that is “sufficient to identify” the property must be included in the lien. An insufficient description can result in the lien being deemed invalid. While the legal description of the property is not required, it is in the claimant's best interest to include the street address of the property, if known, and the legal description of the property to avoid any issues. At the end of the day, the Court will look at whether the property can be reasonably identified by the description included in the lien.
It is very important to get the lien amount correct and therefore careful consideration should be given. Exaggerating the amount or including any extra costs can lead to a lien being deemed invalid or forfeiture of the claim. Also, if a lien amount is excessive, meaning overstated or inflated, this could open the contractor up to an excessive lien claim which could result in forfeiture of your lien. Excessive liens and Notice of Intent will be discussed in later posts to this blog.
The Notice of Intent and affidavit of service should also be attached to the lien documents. Failing to notify the interested parties of your intent to lien 10 days prior to recording can be fatal. Failing to include an affidavit that the claimant waited 10 days before filing the mechanics' lien can also be fatal.
Failure to include important information can be fatal to your mechanics' lien claim. The information contained on this blog is intended to be general information only and not legal advice. This blog topic is not intended to be fully comprehensive. For these reasons, we suggest you seek a licensed attorney to help you review your mechanics' liens. If you have any questions about the contents of this blog or if you need legal advice, please contact the Beavers O'Connell Group at (720)538-0363 or contact the firm on BOG's Contact Us page.