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Maryland Mechanic’s Liens: The Basics, Updated

In this new installment in our continuing discussion of mechanic’s liens in construction, we update the basics for proper exercise of this most vital right and remedy of contractors and subcontractors.

Contractors and subcontractors must understand the basics regarding mechanic’s lien in Maryland in order to ensure they do not unintentionally waive any rights. These updated lists of items consist of some basic considerations that any party to a potential mechanic’s lien should consider:

Timing – In Maryland, a contractor or subcontractor must bring a mechanic’s lien claim within 180 days from the last day they performed work or supplied materials on the project. This may not include punch list work. Additionally, contractors and subcontractors should have some written documentation related to the last day of work, such as timesheets or a daily report.

Notice – Subcontractors must provide a notice of intent to lien a property within 120 days from the last day they performed work or supplied materials on the project. The lien notice should include a brief description of the work performed or materials furnished; the amounted earned by the subcontractor and paid to the subcontractor seeking the lien; the time when the work was done or materials furnished; and the name of the person or company for whom work was done or materials furnished. 

Lienable Properties – In Maryland, mechanic’s liens can be placed on non-public new construction or renovations that increased the value of the property by 15%. A contractor cannot bring a claim against public property.

Waiver of Mechanic’s Lien Provisions – Maryland, unlike Virginia and Washington D.C., does not permit the waiver of a mechanic’s lien provision in a contract. As a result, if the contract states that a contractor has waived its right to bring a mechanic’s lien claim in Maryland, it may be unenforceable.

Protecting against Mechanic’s Lien – Obtaining lien releases for work performed and materials furnished will protect owners and contractors from mechanic’s liens.

Information necessary in a Petition for Mechanic’s Lien includes:

    • Name and address of the petitioner;
    • Name and address of the owner;
    • The nature or kind of work performed or materials furnished;
    • A description of the land and building;
    • Evidence of notice to owner, if the petitioner is a subcontractor;
    • Affidavit by the Petitioner confirming the facts and amounts at issue; and
    • Copies or originals of all material papers.

Obviously, these are just the basic considerations to review when dealing with a mechanic’s lien in Maryland. All cases are different and will require specific analysis dependent on the facts and other potential issues.

For additional information please contact Michael W. Siri at (410) 583-2400 or siri@bowie-jensen.com.

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