As a contractor, you probably take great pride in the work you do for your clients. Whether you enjoy bringing a project to fruition or helping others in their time of need, working in the construction field can be fulfilling in numerous ways.

However, while contracting on several projects with a wide variety of people, you probably want to do everything you can to protect yourself and those who work with you. Although you take every possible safety precaution, you may need to protect yourself financially as well. In some cases, a payment dispute could lead you to put a lien on someone’s property. But do you know the conditions under which you may legally do so?

When can you file a mechanic’s lien?

If you are a contractor in the state of Minnesota and were hired to build something, provide material or improve property, you could use the legal system as a means to retrieve payment upon project completion.

However, if you want to file a lien, you may be wise to consider that you must:

  • Be licensed.
  • Provide your client notice of your intent to file a lien.
  • File a lien with the county recorder within 120 days of finishing the job or delivering materials.

Once you provide your client with notice of filing a lien, you may choose to negotiate a settlement. While in some cases you may find that something is better than nothing, in many cases you will likely want to explore your options.