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"General Construction Law" Posts

Protecting Lien Rights on Retail Projects

When contractors and suppliers do work on retail projects, contractors and suppliers can be faced with certain complex problems that you need to make sure that you are aware of in order to fully protect you and enforce your rights.
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Idaho Construction Lien Law

In the recent decision of Parkwest Homes, LLC v. Barnson the Idaho Supreme Court reaffirmed the long standing doctrine in Idaho Mechanics Lien Law that liens are lost to lenders and other interest holders when they are not named as defendants in the lawsuit before the lien foreclosure deadline expires.
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Attorney Fees for Idaho Liens

Recently, in the case of Magleby v. Jenks Brothers Inc., the Idaho Supreme Court entered a decision concerning the allowance of attorney fees when a default judgment is taken on a mechanics lien claim.  In Magleby, the trial court only granted the contractors attorney fees for the amount stated in the complaint.  The judge concluded that the contractor was not entitled to an additional amount beyond what was specifically stated in the complaint.  However, the contractors attorney argued that while this decision would be appropriate where a default was entered after simply 20 days, in this particular case there was a great deal of settlement conversation and communication together with changes in parties before a final judgment was actually entered.  As a result of that the contractor’s attorney put in a substantial amount of work and charged the necessary fees in order to try and bring the case to a conclusion. 
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Utah Construction Lien Laws: Lien Legislation 2013

On Monday, February 11, 2013 a committee of representatives from the Construction, Banking and Title Industry met to discuss changes to the State Construction Registry and other Lien and Bond laws.  As a result of the discussions, changes are going to be made to the operation of the Utah State Construction Registry for allowing Banks to payoff Preliminary Notices which have been filed before a Construction Loan has closed.  Additionally, since the State Construction Registry fails to adequately provide for operation of projects where multiple parcels are included in one project or where one parcel includes multiple projects, changes will be made to the State Construction Registry to allow General Contractors and Banks to know and understand the specific Preliminary Notices applying to individual construction projects and to be able to manage their risks appropriately.
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Utah Construction Lien Laws: 2013 Construction Legislation

Currently, there are a handful of bills being considered by the Utah Legislature which affect the construction industry.  The first is House Bill 277 Building Code Amendments which is adoption of the 2012 International Building, Plumbing and other codes.  This bill is based upon recommendations to the international building codes by the Utah building code commission and was approved by the interim business and labor committee during the interim session. 
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Utah Lien Laws: Utah State Construction Registry (SCR) Programming Changes

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013 I met with Tom Harper the Director of the Utah State Construction Registry at DOPL, and with Ray Walker to discuss the programming changes for parcel numbers in the SCR.  The purpose of the discussion was to understand the reasons why Utah Interactive changed the SCR website to require that tax property ID numbers be put in according to a specific format.  Based upon the information in that conversation, it appears that there have been concerns about the quality of parcel number information coming into the State Construction Registry and in order to try and facilitate more accurate searching and more accurate input of the numbers, DOPL and Utah Interactive decided to require formatting according to fixed formats from the various counties.  As a result of these changes, parcel numbers must follow the formatting requirements which the counties provided to DOPL and Utah Interactive. 
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Utah Construction Lien Laws: Recent SCR Changes

Recently, there have been some changes to the State Construction Registry regarding the entry of parcel numbers.  Multiple Tax Parcel ID’s are still separated by a comma, but now there can no longer be a space in between the comma and the next Tax Parcel ID.  Also, in the counties which have standard formatting, the dashes or colons are now required to be included in the Tax Parcel ID.  Also, you can no longer put “Unknown” or other words as the Tax Parcel ID, rather if you are filing on a public project you need to link to a Notice of Commencement or include a Tax Parcel ID. 
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Montana Construction Payment Bond Law & Deadlines

In Montana, a preliminary notice for bond rights is required to be sent to the general contractor within 30 days of your first date of work. 
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Utah Lien Law: Legislation for 2013

In January, the Utah Legislature will convene and there will be work done on State Construction Registry Rules and other lien law.  Some of the issues will be deciding whether or not an owner has the responsibility to post parcel information at the job site in a conspicuous location so that contractors and material suppliers would be able to have information directly at the job site to use to identify the project in the state construction registry. 
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Liens for Maintenance and Snow Removal

In Utah, lien rights are limited to work which is done for the alternation, repair, or improvement of property.  Often, landscape contractors and others who do maintenance work want to file liens for the work that they have done.  Since maintenance work does not qualify for liens, nor does snow removal, we often have contractors call and ask whether they can get paid for maintenance work.  Of course, the answer is: no.  But, even though a construction lien cannot be used for maintenance or snow removal, a judgment lien can. 
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Colorado Lien Law: Colorado Preliminary Notice

In Colorado, subcontractors and suppliers are not required to file a preliminary notice or notice of right to claim lien in order to have lien rights on a construction project.  However, if the property owner records a copy of their contract with the general contractor/builder, then the owner’s liability is limited to the face value of the contract.  As a result, if the owner can show that they have fully paid their contractor, and even if subcontractors and suppliers are unpaid, they will not be able to enforce the liens against the property because Colorado caps the owner’s liability at the face value of the contract.  However, if the owner fails to record a copy of the contract, unpaid subcontractors and suppliers are entitled to enforce liens against the property even if the owner has fully paid the contract with their contractor.
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Colorado Lien Law: Notice of Intent to Lien

In Colorado, prior to filing a Mechanics Lien, lien claimants are required to serve the owner and general contractor a Notice of Intent to Lien.  This Notice must be served no less than 10 days before the Lien is recorded.  Colorado Courts recognize that failure to serve the Notice will invalidate the lien right. 
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Colorado Mechanics Lien Deadlines

In Colorado your lien filing deadline is 4 months after your last work, unless:
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Montana Construction Lien Law: Notice of Right to Claim Lien

In Montana, suppliers and subcontractors are required to record a Notice of Right to Claim Lien for construction projects involving four-plexes, tri-plexes, duplexes, and single family dwellings.  Although a Notice of Right to Claim Lien is not required for other types of construction projects, it is advisable for Subcontractors and Suppliers to record a Notice of Right to Claim Lien on any privately owned construction project in Montana. 
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