Thoughts on construction law from Christopher G. Hill, Virginia construction lawyer, LEED AP, mediator, and member of the Virginia Legal Elite in Construction Law

Be Sure to Keep Up with Mechanic’s Lien Changes

Virginia General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As those of you who read Construction Law Musings are well aware, the mechanic’s lien is near and dear to my construction lawyer’s heart. A well timed and properly filed memorandum of lien can and does often lead to payment without the need for the suit to enforce that lien. Of course the key part of that last sentence is “properly filed.” A mechanic’s lien in Virginia is a powerful tool in the construction professional’s arsenal. Because of its power, the courts here in Virginia are extremely strict in their interpretation of the statutory requirements for such filing and enforcement. When dealing with these liens, you must be aware of every detail.

As part of the “eternal diligence” necessary for the Virginia construction professional and his or her attorney, all of us in the construction industry need to keep up with changes to Virginia’s mechanic’s lien statute. The most recent example is the change that went into effect last Monday on July 1, 2013. The major change found in the statute is the requirement that not only must a contractor or subcontractor possess a Virginia contractor’s license, that contractor must also list the license number on the lien memorandum itself. This change was discussed here at Musings while it passed through the General Assembly, so I won’t discuss it in detail here.

Suffice it to say that the Virginia state legislature seems to like tweaking this statute and diligence as to its terms is a must. Additionally, the assistance of a Virginia construction attorney who’s job is to keep up with these changes can be a great help to a construction business that performs work here in my state.

You can see what other changes of interest happened this year in last week’s Musings.

UPDATE: For the text of the changes and a bit of analysis, check out this discussion from Spencer Wiegard.

As always, I welcome your comments below. Please subscribe to keep up with this and other Construction Law Musings.

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