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. 

A judgment lien is a lien which is created after you get a judgment against a property owner.  For example, if you have a snow removal contract or landscape maintenance contract with a property owner, and if that owner does not pay you, you can file a lawsuit against the owner in small claims court and get a judgment against them up to $10,000.00.  Once the judgment is entered, you can have the court issue a certified copy of the judgment and attach it to a Judgment Information Statement.  This statement can then be recorded in the county recorder’s office and becomes a judgment lien on all the property that owner owns in the county. 

Sometimes the judgment lien can be better than a construction lien, because companies who do maintenance work or snow removal for owners of multiple properties such as apartment complexes or other commercial property, can get a judgment against that owner for work done on one piece of property but use the judgment to create a lien on all property of that owner in a particular county and can even record the judgment lien in other counties throughout the state where the owner has property. 

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