How to File a Construction Lien in Texas
If you are a contractor or supplier and have not been paid for the work or materials you provided on a construction project in Texas, you have the right to file a construction lien. A construction lien is a legal claim against the property that ensures you receive payment for your services. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file a construction lien in Texas:
1. Understand the requirements: Familiarize yourself with the Texas Property Code Chapter 53, which outlines the specific requirements for filing a construction lien in the state.
2. Serve a Notice of Intent: Before filing a lien, send a Notice of Intent to the property owner, general contractor, and other relevant parties. This notice informs them of your intention to file a lien if payment is not received.
3. Gather necessary documentation: Collect all relevant documents, such as contracts, invoices, and proof of delivery, to support your claim. Ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.
4. Prepare the lien affidavit: Complete a lien affidavit, which includes details about the project, your work or materials, and the amount owed. The affidavit must be notarized.
5. File the lien affidavit: Submit the lien affidavit to the county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located. Pay the required filing fee and obtain a stamped copy as proof of filing.
6. Serve the lien: Serve a copy of the lien affidavit on the property owner and other parties involved in the project. This can be done through certified mail or by personal delivery.
7. Enforce the lien: If payment is still not received, you may need to initiate a lawsuit to enforce the lien. Consult with an attorney to understand the legal process and ensure compliance with all requirements.
1. What is the deadline to file a construction lien in Texas?
The deadline to file a construction lien in Texas is generally within six months from the last date you provided labor or materials on the project.
2. Can I file a lien if I am a subcontractor?
Yes, both contractors and subcontractors have the right to file a construction lien in Texas.
3. What if the property owner disputes the lien?
If the property owner disputes the lien, they may file a bond to release the property from the lien. This allows the project to continue while the dispute is resolved.
4. Can I file a lien for unpaid change orders?
Yes, if you have not been paid for approved change orders, you can include them in your lien claim.
5. Can I file a lien on a residential property?
Yes, you can file a construction lien on residential properties in Texas, including single-family homes.
6. Are there any exceptions to filing a lien?
Certain public projects, such as government-owned properties, may have specific rules and requirements that differ from private projects. Consult an attorney if you are unsure.
7. Can I still file a lien if I have not sent a Notice of Intent?
While sending a Notice of Intent is not required, it is highly recommended as it can often prompt payment without the need for filing a lien. However, failure to send a Notice of Intent does not prohibit you from filing a lien if payment is not received.