Even the best planned construction projects can lead to disputes about payment. Liens and bonds are ways to seek or ensure payment for labor and materials contributed to a project.
A lien is a form of interest in property granted to contractors, suppliers or design professionals such as architects or engineers. A properly filed and perfected lien can give rise to powerful rights in property, such as the right to foreclose the property and recover the value of the improvements made to the land, or, in some cases, the value of materials or design services provided to the owner.
Because these statutorily granted rights are so powerful, strict conformance with statute is required. For example, there are very strict deadlines for filing liens. This means that delays in filing the lien itself, or in filing foreclosure actions based on a lien can possibly negate any statutory rights a party has to foreclose and thereby recover payment. Further, for many liens it is required by statute that preliminary notice be filed, otherwise, you may risk losing your ability to recover all or part of the value of your labor and materials. Thus, it is crucial not only to know what rights you may have to file a lien in a given situation, but also to understand in detail what the law requires you do to in order to assert those rights.
Closely related to liens is the subject of payment bonds. In many construction situations, contracts or statutes require certain parties to obtain payment bonds. For example, in Utah, on any commercial contract over $50,0000, an owner is required to get a payment bond from a contractor. As mentioned above, these statutorily required bonds are a way to ensure payment by a general contractor to subcontractors.
It is imperative that individuals who own property or who work in construction or design know their rights and obligations in relation to a construction project. When your rights may depend on strict conformity to a lengthy set of requirements, you need a firm with experience and a proven track record of success. Bostwick & Price, P.C., has represented numerous individuals and business entities in the construction law context, including developers, owners, design professionals, materialmen, contractors and subcontractors, and we have years of experience filing and litigating liens and bond related issues. We can help you understand, assert, and litigate your rights in regards to any construction project.
Contact Our Utah Construction Lien and Construction Bond Attorneys