On private projects in Arizona, anyone who furnished “labor, materials, professional services, fixtures, or tools, in the construction, alteration, repair, or improvement of any building, or other structure pursuant to a contract with the owner, or with an agent of the owner” is entitled to file a mechanics lien.
This is a fairly broad definition that includes nearly everyone who furnishes to a construction project. In reading the definition recognize that you are not required to have a contract with the owner or agent of the owner, but instead, the project itself must simply evolve from a contract with the owner or agent of the owner. Typically, of course, these contracts are entered into by general contractors.
Just as important as who can lien a project is who cannot. Here are three rules in Arizona limiting who can file mechanics liens:
1. Design professionals can only file a mechanics lien if they have a written contract with the property owner, or, a written or oral contract with an architect who has a written contract with the property owner. Otherwise, they do not have a right to file.
2. On owner-occupied residential projects, a mechanics lien can only be filed by those who have a written contract with the owner. Without a written contract with the owner, you cannot file a mechanics lien on these project types (Although Remember, Oral Contracts Are Usually Okay and Written Contracts Usually Not Required To File Liens)
3. Suppliers to suppliers cannot file a mechanics lien under any condition (Suppliers to Suppliers always get short stick in mechanics lien law).
For more information about this question and other frequently asked questions in Arizona’s mechanics lien laws, visit the FAQs center for Arizona at Zlien.