General Lien Requirements:
A mechanic’s or materialman’s lien is a way contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers to secure payment for materials or labor provided for a specific property, structure or adjacent property like sidewalks and fencing. Lien requirements for rented or leased equipment are limited to the status and use of the property. In some circumstances a “preliminary notice of lien” must be provided to property owner before a mechanics lien may be filed. Lien rights for oil and gas projects are similarly restricted. The mechanics lien is the reason owners and contractors routinely seek lien waivers in exchange for contractually required payments. The mechanics lien has specific requirements and deadlines in Oklahoma.
Preliminary Notice is the First Step for Some
A mechanics lien can impact the property owner even when the party that has failed to make payment is not the property owner. Subcontractors, laborers and suppliers are required to provide a preliminary notice of lien before filing a lien on a legal property under Oklahoma law so that owners may have notice before a lien is filed.
On the other hand, prime contractors may not be required to provide this notice to owners in every case. However, it is unclear whether it is required for residential projects on behalf of the housing owner-occupant. It is best to consult a construction lawyer to confirm whether a preliminary notice is required or not.
The Deadline Comes Fast
For subcontractors with claims of $10,000 or more unless the project a single-family or multifamily project of four (4) or few units not owner-occupied a preliminary notice is required within seventy-five (75) days of completing labor or delivering materials. If two months slip past without payment you may find yourself two weeks away from this deadline that could prevent you from filing a mechanics lien if missed. The deadline for filing the lien after a proper preliminary notice (when required) differs between prime contractors and all others under Oklahoma law. A prime contractor has four (4) months while others only get ninety (90) days.
Step by Step Guide to File a Mechanic’s Lien
After you have determined that your work qualifies to be protected by a mechanic’s/materialman’s Lien all you have to do is follow these simple steps: