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I am a general contractor. I have a customer that hasn’t…

Customer Question
I am a general...

I am a general contractor. I have a customer that hasn’t paid her bill. Can I file a lien? How much notice is necessary in Washington state?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No, I just have sent her to collections to no avail.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don’t think so. It wasn’t a lot of money but everyone likes to get paid.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
12/6/2017
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Bill Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2,640
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Dear Customer ,

Thank you for posting your legal question today. I'm attorney Bill assisting you with your question.

You have a right to file a lien after serving notice on the owner for professional services on real property.

This is set out in WA State code:

"

RCW 60.04.031

Notices—Exceptions.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, every person furnishing professional services, materials, or equipment for the improvement of real property shall give the owner or reputed owner notice in writing of the right to claim a lien. If the prime contractor is in compliance with the requirements of RCW 19.27.095, 60.04.230, and 60.04.261, this notice shall also be given to the prime contractor as described in this subsection unless the potential lien claimant has contracted directly with the prime contractor. The notice may be given at any time but only protects the right to claim a lien for professional services, materials, or equipment supplied after the date which is sixty days before:

(a) Mailing the notice by certified or registered mail to the owner or reputed owner; or

(b) Delivering or serving the notice personally upon the owner or reputed owner and obtaining evidence of delivery in the form of a receipt or other acknowledgment signed by the owner or reputed owner or an affidavit of service."

The notice needs to take the following form:

NOTICE TO OWNER

IMPORTANT: READ BOTH SIDES OF THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM PAYING TWICE

To: ***** ***** . .

Date: . . . .

Re: (description of property: Street address or general location.)

From: . . . .

AT THE REQUEST OF: (Name of person ordering the professional services, materials, or equipment)

THIS IS NOT A LIEN: This notice is sent to you to tell you who is providing professional services, materials, or equipment for the improvement of your property and to advise you of the rights of these persons and your responsibilities. Also take note that laborers on your project may claim a lien without sending you a notice.

OWNER/OCCUPIER OF EXISTING

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

Under Washington law, those who furnish labor, professional services, materials, or equipment for the repair, remodel, or alteration of your owner-occupied principal residence and who are not paid, have a right to enforce their claim for payment against your property. This claim is known as a construction lien.

The law limits the amount that a lien claimant can claim against your property. Claims may only be made against that portion of the contract price you have not yet paid to your prime contractor as of the time this notice was given to you or three days after this notice was mailed to you. Review the back of this notice for more information and ways to avoid lien claims.

COMMERCIAL AND/OR NEW

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

We have or will be providing professional services, materials, or equipment for the improvement of your commercial or new residential project. In the event you or your contractor fail to pay us, we may file a lien against your property. A lien may be claimed for all professional services, materials, or equipment furnished after a date that is sixty days before this notice was given to you or mailed to you, unless the improvement to your property is the construction of a new single-family residence, then ten days before this notice was given to you or mailed to you.

Sender: . . . .

Address: . . . .

Telephone: . . . .

Brief description of professional services, materials, or equipment provided or to be provided: . . . .

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

ON REVERSE SIDE

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FOR YOUR PROTECTION

This notice is sent to inform you that we have or will provide professional services, materials, or equipment for the improvement of your property. We expect to be paid by the person who ordered our services, but if we are not paid, we have the right to enforce our claim by filing a construction lien against your property.

LEARN more about the lien laws and the meaning of this notice by discussing them with your contractor, suppliers, Department of Labor and Industries, the firm sending you this notice, your lender, or your attorney.

COMMON METHODS TO AVOID CONSTRUCTION LIENS: There are several methods available to protect your property from construction liens. The following are two of the more commonly used methods.

DUAL PAYCHECKS (Joint Checks): When paying your contractor for services or materials, you may make checks payable jointly to the contractor and the firms furnishing you this notice.

LIEN RELEASES: You may require your contractor to provide lien releases signed by all the suppliers and subcontractors from whom you have received this notice. If they cannot obtain lien releases because you have not paid them, you may use the dual payee check method to protect yourself.

YOU SHOULD TAKE APPROPRIATE STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY FROM LIENS.

YOUR PRIME CONTRACTOR AND YOUR CONSTRUCTION LENDER ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO GIVE YOU WRITTEN INFORMATION ABOUT LIEN CLAIMS. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED IT, ASK THEM FOR IT.

If you aren't paid within the statutory time you can file a lien after 60 days of delivering this notice.

We are here to help.

I'm an independent legal expert and rely on your positive feedback today to get a credit.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

So i hope you rate FIVE STARS before your exit today.

Thank You

Attorney Bill

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Dear Customer ,

I would like to follow up your question to which I posted a reply a few days ago.

Do you need any further information ?

Happy to help.

Just a reminder, I'm an independent legal expert and rely on your positive feedback to get a credit for my time.

It's a reciprocal service.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

So I hope you rate FIVE STARS today for the help received.

Thanks

Attorney Bill

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