Washington allows laborers, contractors, and material and equipment suppliers on private works projects to file a construction lien against the real property improved by their work and materials.
A lien is a statutory remedy that allows contractors, subcontractors, laborers and suppliers to secure payment on projects where they otherwise may not be paid. The Washington State Legislature has passed these laws in order to protect the rights of individuals and companies who provide their labor and materials on private construction projects.
On private projects, the general rule is that virtually everyone in the “contract chain” on a project has the right to file a lien against the owner’s property, even if they did not have a contract directly with the property owner.
However, liens are created by statute and have very specific notice and service requirements. The laws relating to liens are complex and have been subject to various and inconsistent judicial interpretation. Oftentimes, the failure to strictly comply with a lien notice or the content requirements, will result in the dismissal of the lien and penalties being assessed against the lien claimant.
The attorneys at Durkee & Hennessey are well experienced with the preparation, filing and foreclosure of private works construction liens. Attorneys at the firm have been frequent speakers at a number of forums with regard to these rights and remedies and are able to quickly determine whether a lien remedy is available, or may be successfully challenged.