By: Ryan E. Prophett | Associate
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 254, Sections 1-24, sets forth a statutory mechanism to provide security to contractors, subcontractors, laborers and suppliers for the value of their services and goods provided for the improving of an owner’s real estate. In order to perfect a Mechanic’s Lien, the contractor, subcontractor, laborer and/or supplier must follow strict statutory requirements and time tables.
These requirements can include, depending on the type of lien: (1) having a written contract; (2) properly filing a Notice of Contract with the Registry of Deeds; (3) properly filing a Statement of Account with the Registry of Deeds; (4) filing a civil action in the Massachusetts Superior Court or District Court; and (5) recording with the Registry of Deeds. The statute requires that each of these be done in a specific time frame or the Lien will be invalid.
WHO MAY FILE A MECHANIC’S LIEN
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 254, sets out the statutory framework for two separate types of Mechanic’s Liens: (1) liens for those who do not have a written contract with the owner or anyone acting on behalf of the owner, but who have provided labor for the improvement of real property; and (2) liens for those who have a written contract with the owner, or any person acting for, or on behalf of, the owner and have furnished labor and material or rental equipment, appliances or tools for the erection, alteration, repair or removal of building, structure or an improvement of land.
First, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 254, Section 1, provides for the recording of a lien in favor of a person who has performed personal labor in the erection, alteration, repair or removal of a building or structure upon land or improvement or alienation to real property by virtue of an Agreement with, or by consent of, the owner of the building or the structure or person having authority to act for the owner.
Section 1 provides a lien for those who do not have an actual written contract with the owner or someone who is acting on his behalf. However, the lien for such a contractor shall not be for more than thirty (30) days of work actually performed for the ninety (90) days next prior to filing a Statement as provided in Section 8.
Second, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 254, Sections 2 and 4, provide for the recording of a lien when a contractor enters into a written contract with the owner of any interest in real property, or with a person acting for, or on behalf of, or with the consent of such an owner, including a contractor or subcontractor, for the whole or part of the erection, alteration, repair or removal of building, structure or an improvement to real property, or for furnishing materials or rental equipment, appliances, or tools therefore, shall have a lien upon such real property, land, building, structure, improvement owned by the party.
Both liens for labor and liens arising out of a written contract for labor and materials require specific procedures for perfecting.
If you have any questions or would like assistance with the filing of a Mechanic’s Lien, please call the attorneys at Wynn & Wynn, P.C. 1.800.852.5211 or request a free consultation.