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Attorneys James R. “JR” Clary, Jr., Christopher S. Suba, Casey D. Neale and Briton J. Myer

Know your mechanics lien rights in Louisiana

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Construction Law

Many Louisiana parties have questions about mechanics liens – from contractors to property owners to suppliers to construction lenders – because the guidelines aren’t always consistent and may be conflicting. The issues that are most commonly seen by these professionals are around who has mechanics lien rights and how long you have to file.

Who has mechanics lien rights?

The parties that file for these types of liens encompass a wide variety of professionals, such as:

  • Contractors
  • Laborers
  • Employees
  • Material suppliers
  • Equipment lessors
  • Surveyors
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Sub-consultants

Both subcontractors and prime contractors (or general contractors) are entitled to mechanics lien rights. In some cases, workers have to meet certain qualifications to get the right to a mechanics lien. Architects, for instance, have to be licensed. Surveyors and engineers may have to be registered or certified as well.

One common example of a seller of movables is the material supplier. For instance, the party that supplies fuel for equipment or machinery that’s used for the construction job. This party has a right to mechanics liens as well. However, bear in mind that the suppliers of the suppliers are not do not get the same mechanics lien rights as other construction professionals.

A contractor also has to have the proper license for the job they’re doing in order for their claim to a mechanics lien to be valid. This is because you need to have a contract that’s valid to be entitled to lien rights, and you can’t have a valid contract under construction law when unlicensed professionals are working on a project that requires licensure or certification.

Know your deadline

It’s also important to be aware of your filing deadline, which tends to be a major point of uncertainty among claimants. Make sure you know what your own time frame is because it’s not the same in every situation.

The deadline relies on a complicated mix of factors, including what your job is on the construction project and whether or not the Notice of Contract has been filed. If the Notice of Contract was filed, you have 60 days to make the claim after either the filing of the Notice of Termination, substantial completion or abandonment.