Arizona Lien Laws: A Powerful Tool When Used Correctly
Arizona’s Mechanics’ and Materialmen’s Lien laws are a powerful tool available to contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers to ensure they are paid for the labor and materials they provide. The risk of foreclosing on a property deters many owners from unreasonably withholding payment when it is due. But like any tool, you have to use it correctly to get the best results.
Arizona’s lien laws are technical (see A.R.S. § 33-981 et seq.) Avoid common mistakes by making sure you (a) timely serve a complete preliminary notice on each necessary party within 20-days of starting the work or first providing materials (see A.R.S. § 33-992.01), (b) update your preliminary notice if the contract amount exceeds the amount stated in the notice by more than 20%, (c) timely record your lien in the correct county (see A.R.S. § 33-993(A)), and (d) file suit before the statute of limitations expires (see A.R.S. § 33-998).
Many lien services help contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers file and record liens, but they are not perfect. Often these companies limit their liability so they will not be responsible for any mistakes beyond the cost of their services. So double-check their work. Also do not expect them to update your preliminary notice as your project progresses without your direction.
To ensure Arizona lien laws work for you, check and double-check your notices, and keep them updated. Check and double-check your liens and keep an eye on the calendar.
The Construction Attorneys at Mesch Clark Rothschild are here to assist owners, contractors, sub-contractors, and suppliers with liens, contract disputes, and related issues. We are also seasoned mediators and arbiters. Call our office in Tucson at (520) 624-8886.