When contractors or building supply companies in Ohio do not get paid for work they have done or materials they have provided, they can encourage property owners to honor their obligations by filing mechanics liens. Doing this gives the unpaid party security because the property cannot be sold until the lien is paid off, but individuals or businesses that plan to file mechanics liens must have all of their paperwork in order and meet strict deadlines.
Mechanics liens deadlines
Every state has rules dealing with mechanics liens. In Ohio, the process starts when the property owner files a notice of commencement in the county where the property is located. Once this is done, suppliers or contractors have three weeks after starting work or delivering materials to present the owner with a notice of furnishing. If the property owner does not file a notice of commencement, contractors or suppliers do not have to provide them with notice of furnishing to protect their lien rights. Mechanics liens can be filed up to 60 days after a residential project has been completed and up to 75 days after the completion of a commercial job, and suppliers and contractors have up to six years to enforce the liens they file.
The mechanics lien affidavit
A mechanics lien affidavit is a real estate law document that asserts an interest in a property. Officials will not accept affidavits that are missing key pieces of information or have not been notarized. Mechanics lien affidavits in Ohio must include:
- The address of the property
- The amount owed after any setoffs and adjustments
- The name and address of the hiring party
- The name of the property owner or lessee
- The name and address of the contractor or supplier seeking payment
- The first and last days that work was performed or materials were supplied
Avoiding mechanics liens
Paying contractors and suppliers on time is the best way to avoid the legal headache of dealing with a mechanics lien. When disputes arise over the quality of the work being done or the materials being used, property owners should take a proactive approach and try to solve the problem through negotiation. People in the construction business know all about mechanics liens, and they are unlikely to make significant concessions just because a property owner threatens to withhold payment.