Aerial view of a construction site with three yellow excavators loading soil into a large dump truck on a dirt surface.

Houston Construction Lien Lawyers

Completing a big job is its own reward, but getting paid on time allows you to take the next job. It’s always a contractor’s worst nightmare when they complete a project only to have the client avoid paying for the work. And it happens more often than you’d think. Construction liens are a way of guaranteeing payment for services or materials, and the construction lien lawyers at Patout & Shaw have helped dozens of Houston, TX contractors successfully implement them–and get paid.

Construction Lien Lawyers | Here for Contractors Seeking Payment

The construction attorneys at Patout & Shaw are experienced with construction law and have worked with Houston-area contractors for over a decade. We understand the industry and the pressures contractors, designers, and construction professionals face daily. We know the stakes when a client refuses to pay, and that motivates us to find them a solution that allows them to move forward.

We use construction liens, contract claims, third-party mediation, and litigation to ensure that our clients are compensated fairly. Reach out to our seasoned Harris County construction lawyers today to schedule an initial consultation.

What Is A Construction Lien?

A lien is a monetary claim on real property, often as part of taking on debt. The lien services as the collateral for that debt. A construction lien is no different. It’s a lien for labor, materials, and services provided during the construction phase of that property. If a client refuses to pay you for your services, you can levy a construction lien on their property. This lien is specific to the construction industry, and it can help encourage reluctant clients to pay what they owe.

What Does A Construction Lien Do?

If a design professional, construction company, or material supplier does not receive payment for goods or services they are able to issue a construction lien on the property they worked on. This lien allows the person who filed it to receive payment directly from the real estate. A construction lien makes it difficult to sell or refinance the property. Construction liens are a collection technique often used alongside a contract claim against the property owner.

Filing a Construction Lien

Most construction liens, also frequently called mechanic’s liens, are filed by contractors, subcontractors, and materials suppliers. But as the name mechanic’s lien implies, anyone who contributed labor, materials, or services to a project may file, such a lien, including the following:

  • All contractors
  • Material suppliers
  • Designers
  • Heavy equipment rental companies
  • Architects
  • Registered engineers
  • Registered surveyors
  • Registered foresters

You will be required to adhere to Texas law to file a construction lien, and the rules you must follow depend on the nature of the work you performed.

For residential construction liens, you’ll need to file on or before the 15th of the 3rd month after the contract was abandoned, completed, or terminated.
For commercial construction, you’ll need to file on or before the 15th of the 4th month after the contract was completed, abandoned, or terminated.

Prime Contractors

If you were a contractor dealing with the property owner directly, you’re considered the prime contractor. As a prime contractor, you aren’t required to provide preliminary notice to retain lien rights.

Subcontractors & Material Providers

Subcontractors and material suppliers who work directly with the prime contractor face stricter preliminary notice requirements.

For residential projects, they must notify the property owner no later than the 15th of the 2nd month after the contract was completed or terminated.

For commercial projects, they must notify the property owner by the 15th of the 3rd month after completing or terminating the contract.

The Construction Lien Process

A brief outline of the construction lien process is as follows:

  1. Request For Information: After executing a contract, you need to issue a written request for a description to be improved, a copy of all the contracts, a copy of any bonds, and information about prior liens. This information will be used to file your lien claim.
  2. Preliminary Notices: Depending on the nature of your work for the property owner, you may need to send a preliminary notice. This informs the owner of your intent to put a lien on the property. The construction lien attorneys at our firm will help you with this process, as it can get quite complex.
  3. Filing The Lien Affidavit: You’ll be required to file a lien affidavit before a certain time. This time depends on whether the project was residential or commercial, and the team at Patout & Shaw will ensure it is filed on time.

Contact Our Construction Lien Lawyers Today

As an experienced construction law firm, the professional construction attorneys at Patout & Shaw have helped hundreds of Houston, TX contractors, engineers, designers, and construction professionals get paid for their services.

We’ll work with you through every step of the construction lien process, from preliminary notice to final enforcement of the lien. Our construction lien lawyers won’t rest until you get paid for the goods and services that are owed to you. If you’re struggling with payment from a client, contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn how we can get them to pay what they owe you.