The mechanic’s lien statute was enacted in the state of Minnesota to not only insure that contractors and sub-contractors would get paid for their work, but also to insure that land owners’ would not end up paying their general contractor, only to learn later that the general contract failed to pay each of the subcontractors. To protect all parties involved, the law requires that to claim a lien, a contractor or sub-contractor must follow specific requirements within statutory deadlines:
- Provide proper notice in the contract itself that a lien may be claimed.
- Give an initial, or “prelien”, notice naming the general contractor and each subcontractor.
- Make a timely and accurate lien statement.
- In general, start lawsuit within one year from completion of work.
A general contractor/subcontractor can give up their right to file a mechanic’s lien in situations where the pre-lien notice is needed but not given. After the project has been completed, the general contractor/subcontractor must serve the Statement of Mechanic’s Lien within 120 days after doing the last of the work, or furnishing the last item of skill, material, or machinery. It is critical that the Lien Statement be properly prepared, served and filed. Courts carefully scrutinize these factors, and if the legal requirements have not been met, there will be no lien. For this reason, we strongly advise that you consult with us regarding the preparation and filing of a mechanic’s lien statement.