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3 commonly asked questions about Georgia mechanic liens

| Feb 26, 2021 | Construction Litigation |

If you are a construction contractor, you may encounter difficulty receiving your pay in a timely manner. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the construction industry is worth over a trillion dollars, and yet this remains a common issue in the sector. Georgia’s Prompt Payment Act entitles you to remuneration upon the fulfillment of all contract provisions. Specifically, upon the sending of an invoice, employers have 15 days to settle up. (There do exist exceptions to this regulation and legally acceptable reasons for withholding compensation.) 

If you do not receive your money on time you have options. One is filing a mechanics lien. 

1. Are there preliminary steps?

Whether or not you must send a preliminary notice depends on two conditions. The first is that the property owner filed a Notice of Commencement. The second is that you contracted with a party other than said owner. If both of these do not apply, you need not dispatch this document. However, it is a good practice to do so anyway. 

2. Are there time limits?

You have a 90-day period to file a mechanics lien, starting on the last day you provided services or materials for the project. You must also initiate enforcement of it within one year. After this, you have 30 days (395 days after making your claim) to fill out a commencement of lien action form and give it to the superior court’s clerk in the county the structure sits in. There are no extension opportunities. 

3. Are there notarization requirements?

Georgia does not specify that mechanics liens must have notarization. However, having it may help you avoid complications. 

Note that you must possess a license to file one of these. You must also inform the building owner that you filed a one through a physical notice.