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Question DetailsAsked on 12/15/2015

In PA can a mechanics lein be placed on my property because my contractor has not paid his subcontractors?

We hired a contractor to build a 40X60 garage. He required a down payment of half the contracted price. He never paid the excavators he hired or the company who built the trusses. Those people are now calling us. The building still isn't finished (5 months after we signed the contract) - he is working on it very slowly but still occasionally showing up. If we are in good standing with our contractor and are paid up with the work completed so far, can these other people force us to pay them (essentially making us pay twice)?

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Obviously an Attorney specializing in residential contract law would be needed for a definitive answer - but here is a link to an article on the subject describing changes made in PA law making it harder for subs and vendors to perfect liens on single and two-family residences -

Google the phrase - Pennsylvania contrator lien - and you will also find numerous web links to state agency pages on the subject.

I would certainly NOT let this go unanswered - if you are getting claims from subs or vendors, you need to immediately do a written, certified return receipt (or registered maill as defined in your state law for legal service) demand to the contractor to get his payments to providers in order and provide you with proof of payment to the vendors/subs whose work is completed - and if not done ASAP probably get an attorney to contact his bonding company, because part of his contractual responsibility is to protect your property from harm caused by him - and that includes liens.

I would also wonder what the contract has to say about completion - is he not way past his completion date ? Maybe time to put him on notice for completion with X number of weeks or you will call his bond ?

And certainly, given this circumstance, I would be taking special care to see that you receive valid lien releases from ALL providers and subs before you turn over any more funds (presumably at completion). Might require use of an attorney or escrow agent to handle the lien releases and payments so each party gets what he is due concurrent with giving up what he owes or should provide.

And watch out about any arrangement where YOU pay the subs - because that then makes YOU the GC and could be inferred to release the contractor from HIS responsibilities on the job and for final inspection clearance and such.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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