Contractors in New York often perform very difficult and even dangerous work and they deserve to be compensated fairly and in a timely fashion. Whether working for residential customers or commercial customers, some contractors may experience challenges when it comes to getting paid. Contractors’ customers may refuse to pay a bill for many reasons, but they all leave the contractor with a decision to make.

As explained by Construction Dive, a contractor could choose to walk away from the job without pay, in part to attempt to salvage a future business relationship or reputation. Filing a mechanic’s lien, however, provides a contractor with the potential to get paid even if down the road. A mechanic’s lien may be obtained by a contractor for work they or their company performed on commercial properties or residential properties.

As the name implies, a mechanic lien puts a type of encumbrance on the property to which it is attached and prevents the owner from selling the property without first paying the debt. Every state has different laws regarding the process for using a mechanic’s liens, but most include timeline and notification requirements for filing the lien. At some point, the contractor may need to foreclose on the lien to force the property to be sold if the owner does not pay before that deadline arrives.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give contracting professionals in New York an overview of what a mechanic’s lien is and how it may work to help them get paid for their work.