When you work on a Michigan construction project as a general contractor, subcontractor, material supplier or in a similar capacity, you have certain rights if you never receive payment for supplies provided or services rendered. If you do not receive payment within a certain timeframe, you have the option of filing a mechanic’s lien against the owner of the property you improved.
According to the Michigan Legislature, the state’s Construction Lien Act offers guidance about when and how you might file a mechanic’s lien in Michigan.
How to file a Michigan construction lien
Filing a Michigan mechanic’s lien involves recording a specific document called a Claim of Lien. The form outlines what work or supplies you provided for the project for which you never saw payment. It also names anyone with interests in the matter. You also have an obligation to serve the property owner with something called a Notice of Furnishing if you were not in a direct contractual relationship with that individual. You must do so within 20 days of your first day of work on a particular project. This gives the property owner notification that he or she may be on the hook if you do not receive payment for your work or supplies.
How long you have to file a Michigan construction lien
You must file a construction lien in Michigan within 90 days of the date you last worked on the property or supplied materials for the improvement project. Failing to meet this strict deadline leaves you without legal recourse.
There are important steps and dates involved in filing a construction lien in Michigan. However, you may find that it is your strongest defense against those who do not pay.