How do mechanics’ liens work in Texas?The Texas construction law attorneys at Murray Lobb regularly advise and represent builders and developers, subcontractors and suppliers, design professionals, owners/buyers, and other parties in all aspects of construction law, including:
What is a Mechanics’ Lien in Texas?A mechanics’ lien, or contactors’ lien, is a way for contractors, subcontractors, and others to secure payment for unpaid labor or materials, including:
Mechanics’ liens, or contractors’ liens, help to ensure that you are paid for labor and materials, giving you important rights and protections including:
Preliminary Notices, Mechanics’ Lien Deadlines, Enforcement DeadlinesDepending on your circumstances, you may be required to serve pre-lien notices on the property owner, general contractor, or others before filing the lien affidavit – there are strict deadlines that must be met for preliminary notices, the filing of the lien affidavit, and the filing of a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien.
Service of pre-lien notices
If you were hired directly by the property owner or the property owner’s agent, you do not need to serve a pre-lien notice.
In other cases, you must serve a pre-lien notice on the property owner and general contractor:
If you have served the pre-lien notices within the deadlines, you must still file the lien with the county clerk’s office where the property is located, and there are deadlines for when the lien affidavits must be filed:
If you provided materials or performed work on a project after being hired directly by the property owner, you can file a constitutional lien within four years after completion of the work, and there are no pre-lien notice requirements.
Deadlines to file suit on the lien:
In most cases, you must file suit for a lien foreclosure within one year from the date of your deadline for filing the lien affidavit, unless the property owner agrees in writing to extend the deadline to two years.
Note that this was previously two years but was changed in the recent amendments to Texas construction lien laws.
Changes to the Texas Construction Lien Statutes Effective January 2022The Texas legislature has made changes to the construction lien statutes found in Chapter 53 of the Texas Property Code – effective January 1, 2022.
Some of the major changes include: