What to Do If Your Contractor Filed a Lien on Your Property

By Published On: July 15, 2023

Discovering that a contractor has filed a lien on your property can be a stressful and confusing situation. A lien is a legal claim against your property that a contractor can use to seek payment for unpaid services or materials. Dealing with a contractor’s lien requires prompt action and a clear understanding of your rights and options. In this article, we will provide guidance on what to do if your contractor has filed a lien on your property, helping you navigate this challenging situation.

Review the Lien Documentation

When you become aware of a contractor’s lien on your property, carefully review the lien documentation. The lien should include information such as the contractor’s name, the amount claimed, a description of the work or materials, and the property address. Ensure that the information is accurate and matches the details of your project. Take note of the deadline for responding or challenging the lien, as well as any specific requirements outlined in the documentation.

Verify the Validity of the Lien

It’s important to determine whether the lien is valid and enforceable. Start by evaluating the contract you had with the contractor and reviewing the terms and conditions. Assess whether you fulfilled your payment obligations and whether there were any contractual disputes or issues that might have led to the filing of the lien. Consulting an attorney specializing in construction law can help you assess the validity of the lien and understand your legal rights.

Communicate with the Contractor

Contact the contractor to discuss the lien and attempt to resolve the issue amicably. Open lines of communication can help clarify any misunderstandings or resolve payment disputes. Seek an explanation from the contractor regarding the reasons for filing the lien and discuss potential solutions for reaching a resolution. Document all communication with the contractor, including dates, times, and details of discussions, to have a record of your attempts to resolve the matter.

Seek Mediation or Arbitration

If direct communication with the contractor does not lead to a resolution, consider alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration. Mediation involves a neutral third party assisting in facilitating negotiations between you and the contractor, while arbitration involves a third party making a binding decision. These methods can help reach a fair settlement without resorting to litigation, saving both time and money.

Challenge the Lien

If you believe the lien is invalid or unjust, you may challenge it legally. Consult with an attorney who specializes in construction law to assess your options for challenging the lien. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may need to file a lawsuit to contest the lien. Be aware of the statutory deadlines for challenging a lien, as missing these deadlines may weaken your case.

Obtain a Lien Release or Bond

In some cases, you may be able to resolve the lien issue by obtaining a lien release or bond. A lien release is a document signed by the contractor indicating that the lien has been satisfied and released. A lien release is typically issued after the contractor receives payment or agrees to release the lien for other reasons. Alternatively, a lien bond can be obtained, which substitutes the lien with a bond that provides the same level of protection to the contractor. Consult with your attorney to determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.

Seek Legal Advice

If the dispute escalates or becomes complex, it is advisable to seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in construction law. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you navigate the complexities of the lien laws in your jurisdiction. They can also provide advice on potential legal remedies and strategies for resolving the issue effectively.


Dealing with a contractor’s lien on your property requires prompt action and a clear understanding of your rights and options. By carefully reviewing the lien documentation, verifying its validity, communicating with the contractor, seeking alternative dispute resolution methods, challenging the lien if necessary, and seeking legal advice when needed, you can effectively address the situation. Remember, engaging with a skilled attorney can provide invaluable guidance throughout the process, protecting your interests and helping you reach a fair resolution.

Check out this similar article

A Step-by-Step Guide on Filing a Construction Lien

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!