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Avoiding Mechanic’s Lien Claims by a Notice of Non Responsibility

Updated on September 27, 2023

In previous posts, we discussed the ramifications and requirements for mechanics lien claims that arise out of construction work performed by a contractor. In this post, we discuss how, in limited circumstances, an owner can avoid a mechanic’s lien claim.

The mechanics lien law is designed to provide a means of recovery for contractors or material suppliers to recover for work performed or materials provided at the request of the owner of land or the owner’s agent. This law allows a contractor to place a lien against your property and foreclose on the lien if they follow certain statutory requirements and prove they have not been paid for the contracted work. However, in certain limited situations, an owner can avoid mechanics liens claims by posting a “notice of nonresponsibility.”

Specifically, a notice of nonresponsibility is only appropriate where an owner has not authorized the work directly or through its agent. Accordingly, the most common situation where a notice of nonresponsibility is appropriate is where a tenant arranges for improvements to the leasehold interest where the improvements do not revert to the landlord at the end of the lease.

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In addition to the above threshold requirement, there are also many specific requirements for the notice itself that must be satisfied before a notice is effective. Indeed, if a notice is defective, the owner remains liable even if the claimant actually knew of the notice of non-responsibility.

Schorr Law has experience resolving a variety of mechanic’s lien issues. To inquire about a free 30 minute consultation, contact us by phone at (310) 954-1877 or by email at [email protected].

See related: 3 Keys to Mechanic’s Liens in California