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Construction Law: Mechanic’s Liens in Maryland – The Basics – Updated

Here is an updated refresher on the basics of mechanic’s liens in Maryland for contractors, subcontractors, and owners.  Each party to a construction project should know the basics of mechanic’s liens in Maryland, including the timing of bringing forth a claim, notice requirements to the parties, and other considerations. The following list consists of some of the 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.  The 180 days does not include warranty work.
  • Notice – Subcontractors, including lower tiered 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 Notice of Lien in Maryland must be served on the owner of the property that is subject to the mechanic’s lien.
  • 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.
  • Party Bringing Forth the Lien – Obviously, construction contractors, subcontractors and suppliers may bring forth a mechanic’s lien in Maryland.  Additionally, landscape architects, interior designers, engineering services, and land surveyors can bring forth a claim for a mechanic’s lien.
  • Protecting against Mechanic’s Lien – Obtaining lien releases for work performed and materials furnished by the contractors, their subcontractors and their suppliers 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
    • Copies or originals of all material papers

Obviously, these are the basics 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, contact Michael W. Siri at siri@bowie-jensen.com or 410-583-2400.

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