Frequently Asked Questions About Mechanic's Liens
By Amar S. Weisman, Esquire
What is a Maryland mechanics lien?
A Maryland mechanic’s lien is a debt-collection tool available to contractors and subcontractors for uncompensated goods and materials already provided during the course of a major construction or improvement project. Unlike debts only associated with human beings, mechanic’s liens attach to real property, meaning the owner must repay the debt, with applicable interest, prior to conveying the real property.
Which projects are eligible for Maryland mechanic’s liens?
Mechanic’s liens are available when buildings have been erected, repaired, rebuilt, or improved by 15% of their value. A general contractor can obtain a Maryland mechanic’s lien on real property worth $100,000.00 so long as the project is $15,000.00 or greater. Subcontractors whose project, taken alone, is not 15% of the property’s value are eligible, provided that the over-arching general contract satisfies the 15% threshold.
All kinds of different construction and improvement projects qualify for mechanic’s liens, including, but not limited to, new construction, interior and exterior renovation, masonry, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, interior decoration and remodeling, roofing, flooring, roofing, painting, caulking, landscaping, fences, bridges, and garages.
Are Maryland mechanics liens easy to obtain?
No. Obtaining a Maryland mechanic’s liens requires strict compliance with statutory guidelines, including, but not limited to, providing notice to the property owner within 120-days of when work was completed, petitioning the court within 60-days of providing said notice to the owner, prevailing at a “Show Cause” Hearing, obtaining an Interlocutory (Temporary) Mechanic’s Lien, and presenting sufficient evidence to prevail at trial. The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman has a record of success in this practice area.
What can a property owner do when sued for a Maryland mechanic’s lien?
Many property owners sued under the mechanic’s lien statute have been poorly served by their contractors and subcontractors. Retaining an attorney provides the opportunity to file collateral actions for breach of contract, unfair and depictive trade practices, negligence, and unjust enrichment, and other applicable theories of liability.
May contractors and subcontractors obtain attorney’s fees for obtaining a Maryland mechanic's lien?
Yes, reasonable attorney’s fees are available in Maryland to contractors and subcontractors who successfully obtain mechanic’s liens, at the Court’s discretion.
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