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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.

First, when filing in the State Construction Registry contractors and suppliers should make sure to use the correct tax parcel id number.  Typically, retail spaces are located in strip malls, regular malls or other types of property where there are multiple retail spaces.  However, these spaces are generally identified by a single tax id number.  In certain limited contexts, the retail space may be condominiumized which means that each unit has its own separate tax id number.  Therefore, when filing on the State Construction Registry you should be careful to analyze the ownership of the property and determine whether or not it is a single space leased out to individual tenants, or if it is condominiumized.  Once you know this information you will be able to determine the correct tax id number.

When filing a lien on retail property, there is always a question if the lien applies to the land or to the lease.  Utah Law does not provide a bright line for when you can charge the land as opposed to just the lease, but to the extent that the owner of the land receives a “substantial benefit” from your work, you may be able to charge the full property with your lien.  Additionally, if it’s new construction work then the owner of the property is typically liable on a lien claim. 

Therefore, when you find yourself working in retail situations you should be careful to carefully understand tax parcel id information and to hire a qualified individual to assist you with lien filing to make sure that it is done properly and your rights are in full force and effect.

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