By: Thomas S. Tripodianos Published: April 2005

Lien Rights

Question. Recently I completed a remodeling job on a private residence and the owner has failed to make final payment. What do I need to do in order to place a mechanics’ lien on their home?

A contractor, in order to secure his lien rights, must file a lien with the Clerk of the County in which the property is located within 8 months (or 4 months if it is single family residence) after his last day of work. The lien must be verified by the contractor. Within five days before or thirty days after filing the notice of lien, the contractor must also serve a copy of the lien upon the owner. Additionally, he must file proof of such service with the County Clerk within thirty-five days after the notice of lien is filed.

Pursuant to New York Lien Law the notice of lien must contain:

1. The name and residence of the contractor;

1-a. The name and address of the contractor's attorney, if any.

2. The name of the owner of the real property, and the interest of the owner.

3. The name of the person by whom the contractor was employed, or to whom he furnished or is to furnish materials; or with whom the contract was made

4. The labor performed or materials furnished and their agreed price or value.

5. The amount unpaid.

6. The time when the first and last items of work were performed and materials were furnished.

7. The address of the property being liened together with its section, block and lot.

Subcontractors and vendors must follow similar, but slightly different, procedures. If properly served and filed the lien will be good for one year unless further extended.

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