New Mechanic's Lien Law Effective July 1, 2012
All contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in California should be aware of important changes in the laws governing the recordation and enforcement of mechanics liens effective July 1, 2012. The entire statutory scheme governing mechanics liens has been moved to California Civil Code Sections 8000 et seq. The new forms have been streamlined and new language has been added to assure that property owners receive actual notice that a lien has been recorded.
The new mechanics lien contains a mandatory Notice of Mechanics Lien provision informing owners of the meaning and effect of the lien recordation. An affidavit of service on the owner is required; if the owner cannot be determined, the new provisions permit alternate notice to the construction lender or original contractor. In addition, many claimants with no direct connection to the general contractor continue to be required to serve a Preliminary Notice; this requirement has no application to individual laborers or benefit trust funds that possess lien rights. If the preliminary notice is given by a subcontractor, it must include a statement of any amounts due to any laborer or any compensation-related entity (such as an employee benefit trust fund).
New Waiver and Release Forms
New waiver and release forms are also part of the new statutory scheme. Under new Civil Code Sections 8132-8138, any waiver and release that does not conform to the new requirements may be considered void and unenforceable.
Where to Obtain the New Forms
AGC offers the following new mechanic's lien forms via our online Publications Catalog. Visit our website or click here for purchasing and subscription options:
- A mechanic's lien form, which includes the required Notice of Mechanics Lien;
- An affidavit of service form on the owner and the alternate affidavit of service on the construction lender or general contractor, to accompany the mechanics lien; and
- The new waiver and release forms specified by California Civil Code Sections 8132-8138.
As with any new legal documentation, users should consult legal counsel if they have questions about these new forms. For additional questions please contact John Hakel at (626) 608-5800.