Thursday, March 14, 2013

Texas Lien Claim - General Contractor on Residential Project

Perfecting a statutory lien claim on a residential project requires that the General Contractor follow the same process and procedures and provide the same notices and affidavits as on commercial projects.  However, the deadline associated with filing the affidavit claiming lien is one month earlier when working on a residential project.

To perfect a statutory lien, a General Contractor must timely file an Affidavit Claiming Lien with the county clerk in the county where the property is located.

The lien affidavit must be filed by the fifteenth (15th) day of the third (3rd) month after the day on which the indebtedness accrues which is either:

  • on the last day of the month in which the original contract was completed, settled, or abandoned; or
  • on the last day of the month in which written notice by the General Contractor or Owner is received by the other party stating that the contract is terminated.

The Affidavit Claiming Lien must contain the following:

  • a sworn statement of the amount of the claim;
  • the name and last known address of the owner or reputed owner;
  • a general statement of the kind of work done and materials furnished;
  • the name and last known address of the person by whom the claimant was employed or to whom the claimant furnished the materials or labor;
  • the name and last known address of the original contractor;
  • a description, legally sufficient for identification, of the property sought to be charged with the lien;
  • the claimant's name, mailing address, and, if different, physical address

The affidavit must be signed by the person claiming the lien and must be sworn to (the signature line of the affidavit must represent that the affidavit was “subscribed and sworn to” and the affidavit must be notarized). 

The General Contractor must then send notice that the lien affidavit has been filed and a copy of the lien affidavit to the Owner within five (5) business days of its filing.  The notice and copy must be sent by certified mail.  Failure to send the notice within the applicable time period will void the lien claim.

To enforce your lien claim, you must file suit within the later of:

  • one year after the date after the last date you may have filed a lien affidavit; or
  • one year after completion, termination, or abandonment of the work under the original contract.
 By: Sarah Berry, Attorney