Understanding Mechanics Liens in New York: A Comprehensive Guide

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As a contractor or property owner in New York, you know that construction projects can be complex and have many moving parts. One important aspect of the process is understanding mechanics liens, which can protect contractors and suppliers from non-payment for their work on a project. But what exactly are mechanics liens? And how do they work in the state of New York? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about mechanics liens in New York so you can navigate your next construction project with confidence.

Reasons for Filing a Mechanics Lien in NY

Suppose you’re a contractor, supplier, or other type of professional who has provided services or materials to a construction project in New York. In that case, you may be able to file a mechanics lien if you’re not paid. A mechanics lien is a legal tool that can help you get paid by giving you a claim against the property that was improved with your labor or materials.

There are many reasons why contractors, suppliers, and other professionals might file a mechanic lien NYC. Some common reasons include:

The property owner failed to pay for services or materials that were provided.

The contractor was not paid the full amount that was agreed upon.

The payment schedule was not followed and the contractor was not paid on time.

The property owner made changes to the scope of work without agreeing to additional compensation.

If any of these things have happened to you and you’re still owed money for your work on a construction project in New York, filing a mechanics lien may be your best option for getting paid.

Effectiveness of Mechanics Liens in NY

In New York, a mechanics lien is an effective way to secure payment for work performed on a property. By filing a lien, you can force the sale of the property in order to receive payment. This is often used as a last resort when other methods of collecting payment, such as negotiation or litigation, have failed.

A mechanics lien must be filed within 120 days of the last day of work performed. The sooner you file the lien, the better your chances are of receiving payment. The lien must be served on the property owner and recorded with the county clerk’s office. Once recorded, the lien will appear on any title search conducted on the property.

If you are not paid within 45 days of recording the lien, you can foreclose on the property by filing a lawsuit. This will force a sale of the property and allows you to collect your pay from the proceeds. However, it is important to note that foreclosing on a property is a lengthy and expensive process. It is typically only used as a last resort after all other methods have failed.


This comprehensive guide has given you the essential information that you need to know about how they work and how to protect yourself from them. With this knowledge, you should now have a better understanding of what your rights are when it comes to filing or defending against a mechanics lien in New York. If you ever need further guidance with your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who can provide legal advice tailored directly to your case. You can also look for the lien companies near me and get in touch with the experts in your region.

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