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Pennsylvania Mechanics Lien Deadline Summary

home construction workers reading and pointing at a document

Here are the key dates and deadlines that home improvement contractors should be aware of when filing a mechanics lien in Pennsylvania.


1. Prefiling before Construction

All potential lien claimants may need to file a Notice of Furnishing within 45 days after first supplying labor or material, if the project cost is over one and a half million dollars ($1,500,000) and the owner has filed a Notice of Commencement.


2. Timeline for Filing a Mechanics Lien

In Pennsylvania, a general contractor must file a mechanics lien within six months from the date the work was completed or the materials were supplied. Subcontractors must file within four months from the same date. It is important to accurately determine the completion date of the work to avoid missing the deadline.


3. Notice of Intent to File a Lien

Before filing a mechanics lien, Pennsylvania law requires that a subcontractor send a Notice of Intent to File a Lien to the property owner at least 30 days before filing the lien. This notice provides the property owner with an opportunity to address any payment issues before a lien is filed. The formal notice does not extend the deadline for filing the lien.


4. Verification of Lien Claim

When filing a mechanics lien in Pennsylvania, the claim must be verified by the person filing it or someone on their behalf. The verification should attest to the accuracy of the claim and the amount owed.


5. Service of Lien Claim

After filing the mechanics lien with the appropriate county office, an affidavit of service then must be filed with the court within 20 days after service of the written notice on the owner. Failure to properly serve the lien claim can result in the lien being deemed invalid. 


6. Enforcement of Mechanics Lien

If payment is still not received after filing a mechanics lien, the contractor must enforce by filing a lawsuit within two years of Lien Claim filing or the lien will no longer be valid.


Understanding these important dates and deadlines is essential for home improvement contractors looking to protect their right to payment through filing a mechanics lien in Pennsylvania. It is strongly recommended to consult with a knowledgeable construction law attorney to ensure compliance with the legal requirements and to navigate any potential challenges that may arise during the process.

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