George needs an addition built on his property. He has hired a company to build it for him. He received an estimate that he liked and paid a substantial down payment. In fact, he gave the contractor seventy five percent of the cost of the addition. The contractor said he needed that much to purchase the supplies for the project. George is a trusting person and the contractor seemed honest and anxious to start.
Work began timely, and things seemed to be going fine for about a week. Then he noticed that fewer and fewer workers were showing up. George’s calls to the contractor went unanswered. Soon, work stopped all together.
As George started to panic, he began to receive certified mail. Upon opening the mail, he found documents labeled “AFFIDAVIT FOR MECHANICS’ LIEN.” These documents were from laborers, subcontractors and materialmen and seemed to suggest that liens were being filed against his property. When he sat down and added all of them up, they exceeded the entire estimate of the project, but all that was built thus far was one wall. Is George going to have to pay to get these liens released and hire a new contractor to finish the project?
What could have George done different to avoid this situation?
George’s situation is not uncommon. It happens often whether the addition was to George’s business property or his home. George could have hired a knowledgeable attorney in this area of practice who would have drafted a contract with procedures that called for periodic draws and lien waivers as the project progressed.
Mechanic’s lien law in Ohio is complicated. The law requirements are different for home construction work compared to work on a commercial project. George needed a good attorney from the beginning to help avoid this problem, and now needs one to help him out of it. The attorneys at Joseph & Joseph, Co. LPA are very experienced in these matters and are ready to consult on these very difficult matters.