A mechanic’s lien is a document that is filed at the courthouse by a contractor who has not been paid for work performed on the property. The lien is similar to a mortgage or other lien in that it can be foreclosed upon, which means that the mechanic could go to court to have the home sold to satisfy the debt; however, it usually does not get this far. The process of filing a lien is relatively straightforward as long as the contractor is careful to follow all of the requirements. One of those requirements is to be sure to send all required Kansas mechanic’s lien notices prior to filing the lien.
Does Anything Need to Be Done Prior to Filing the Lien?
As a general statement, Kansas does not have any pre-lien notice requirements or specific contract language that is required to file a lien. With that being said, there are some instances where pre-lien notice may be required. The two instances where pre-lien notices are required are when the contractor is a subcontractor or supplier of materials. If the filer is a subcontractor or supplier and the project involved the improvement of a residential structure, then a warning statement must be provided. If the filer is a subcontractor or supplier and the project involves new residential construction, then a notice of intent to perform must be filed with the county recorder’s office, prior to title to the property passing to the new owner.
What is a Notice of Intent to Proceed?
A notice of intent to proceed is one of the two types of Kansas mechanic’s lien notices that is filed with the county property records that states that the subcontractor or supplier may claim a lien against the property. A form for the notice of intent to proceed is available on the Kansas Judicial Council‘s website.
This notice must be filed before the new owner takes ownership of the property, or in other words, while the property is still owned by the general contractor. If the notice of intent to proceed was not timely filed, the subcontractor or supplier can not claim a lien against the property.
What is a Warning Statement?
The second of the two types of Kansas mechanic’s lien notices is a warning statement. A warning statement is a letter that must be mailed to the property owner prior to filing a mechanic’s lien by a subcontractor or supplier when the lien is related to work done to improve a residential property. The language of this notice must be substantially the same as the following:
Notice to owner: (name of supplier or subcontractor) is a supplier or subcontractor providing materials or labor on Job No. ______ at (residence address) under an agreement with (name of contractor). Kansas law will allow this supplier or subcontractor to file a lien against your property for materials or labor not paid for by your contractor unless you have a waiver of lien signed by this supplier or subcontractor. If you receive a notice of filing of a lien statement by this supplier or subcontractor, you may withhold from your contractor the amount claimed until the dispute is settled.