What Does a Contractor Do to Enforce a Lien?

Under Georgia law, contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers have the right to file a claim of lien for the value of labor and materials that are supplied to a private construction project. One benefit of filing a claim of lien is that the claim for labor and materials can become secured by the real estate that was improved by the work. There are very specific requirements for filing a legally sufficient claim of lien. One of the most important prerequisites is that the claim of lien be filed within 90 days of the date that the lien claimant last supplied labor or materials to the construction project.

For a lien to be enforceable, the contractor, subcontractor or supplier must demonstrate that it was timely filed. Liens must be filed within 90 days of the last date work was performed on the property, or that materials were delivered to the property. A copy of the lien must be sent to the property owner within 2 days after the claim of lien is filed. Also, if a Notice of Commencement has been filed, a copy of the lien must also be sent to the contractor identified on the Notice of Commencement.

After filing the lien against the property, there is a 365 day deadline from the date the claim of lien was filed for the lien claimant to file suit against the party with whom it contracted. Also, under Georgia law within 30 days of the filing of an action, the lien claimant is obligated to file a notice of the legal action with the Clerk of the Superior Court of the county in which the lien was filed showing the case number.