In most states, a contractor only has 1 lien deadline of concern: when the lien must be filed. In Virginia, however, contractors must juggle two lien deadlines.
First, like other states, Virginia has a regular lien filing time requirement. All liens must be filed within 90 days from when labor and services were last performed by the contractor.
Unlike other states, however, Virginia has an interesting second deadline, referred to in the state as the “150 day rule.”
From the last day of work, the claimant must count backwards 150 days. Generally speaking, a contractor is not allowed to include any labor or materials supplied outside this window in its mechanics lien.
While the 150-day rule does not apply to retainage funds or sums not yet due because of a “pay when paid” clause, it usually applies otherwise, and will invalidate a lien if it includes sums due not within this 150-day window.
As mentioned in a previous post about the “payment chain” in Virginia, an arguable third deadline of concern in that state, subcontractors and suppliers in Virginia have extra motivation for filing liens immediately upon non-payment. The 150-day rule in Virginia is even further cause.