Idaho Mechanics Lien Frequently Asked Questions
It’s easy to file Idaho mechanics liens with zlien, the web’s leading mechanics lien compliance manager and filing service. Plus, zlien prepares and files Idaho mechanics lien cancellations, notices of intent to lien, and more. To learn more about Idaho’s mechanics lien law, read the frequently asked questions below.
Who can file a Idaho Mechanics Lien?
Idaho provides relatively broad mechanics lien rights. According to Idaho statute, every person performing labor upon, or furnishing materials to be used in” virtually any kind of real property or improvement is granted mechanics lien rights. Materials or equipment lessors are also explicitly allowed to file a lien. Further, professional engineers, licensed land surveyors, and persons providing on-site management or supervision are granted mechanics lien protection.
When is the Deadline to File a Idaho Mechanics Lien?
Idaho law requires that all lien claimants file their mechanics lien within 90 days of the date they last supplied labor or materials. Providing materials “trivial in character” if the work is substantially completed will not extend the period in which a lien may be filed, generally, punch-list items fall into this category. However, remedying a defect in the project at the demand of a public inspector is not the same as “punch-list” work, and has been found to be not “trivial” and may extend the time in which a lien may be filed.
Do I Need to Send Notice the Lien Was Recorded?
Yes. Idaho law requires that the lien claimant send a copy of the Claim of Lien to the owner of the property, or reputed owner of the property, within 5 days of filing the Claim of Lien in the county recorder’s office. This copy must be delivered to the owner or reputed owner either by personal delivery, or by certified mail return receipt requested. This notice is essential.
Can I Include Attorney’s Fees, Collection Costs, or Other Amounts in the Lien Total?
No. Attorney’s fees and other consequential damages should not be included in the lien amount. However, the lien claimant is entitled to recover his attorney’s fees and the costs for filing and recording the Claim of Lien in a foreclosure action when the lien is enforced.
When is the Deadline to Enforce a Idaho Mechanic’s Lien, or, How Long is My Lien Effective?
In Idaho, all lien claimants must initiate the enforcement of the lien within 6 months from the date on which the lien was filed. Failure to meet this deadline for enforcement will result in the expiration of the lien claim. However, the time by which the lien must be enforced may be increased by “payment on account” or “an extension of credit given with expiration date thereof provided that “such payment or credit and expiration date, is endorsed on the record of the lien.” This extension allows the lien to be enforced within 6 months after the date of such payment or extension.
Will My Idaho Lien Have Priority Over Pre-Existing Mortgages or Construction Loans?
No. Mechanics liens in Idaho have priority over other encumbrances/mortgages etc., following the “first-in-time” rule. For priority determinations, mechanics liens are judged to have attached on the date of the first work on the project by any of the trades. If a construction lender records the mortgage after the work has started, any mechanics lien would have priority. In terms of priority battles between mechanics lien claims, mechanics liens are paid in the following order, by group: 1) laborers, 2) materialmen, 3) subcontractors, 4) prime contractor, 5) engineers/surveyors. All claimants in each step are paid before any in the next step, if there is not enough to satisfy all claimants in one step they will be paid pro-rata.
Must the Idaho Lien Include a Legal Property Description?
No. Idaho only requires that the property be described sufficiently for identification.
Must the Idaho Lien Include be Notarized?
Yes. Idaho requires mechanics liens to be notarized.
Can I File a Idaho Lien if I’m Unlicensed?
It depends. Idaho law is intricate in the issue of licensing and registration of contractors. General and subcontractors on a construction project in Idaho are generally required to be licensed in order to claim a valid mechanics lien, subject to certain exceptions. However, if the contractor or subcontractor is unlicensed at the beginning of the project, and subsequently becomes licensed and registered during the project, the work performed after the licensing and registration will be protected. When a subcontractor is licensed but the general contractor is unlicensed, the ability of the subcontractor to claim a valid mechanics lien depends on the subcontractor’s knowledge of the general’s licensing and registration status – if the sub knew the general was unlicensed, that sub cannot claim a valid lien, however if the sub did not know the general was unlicensed, a mechanics lien is warranted. Suppliers are not required to be licensed if they do not also install the materials supplied such that they are acting as a subcontractor.
Can I File a Idaho Lien on a Condominium Project?
A mechanics lien may be filed against an individual condominium just as against every other property provided the lien claimant has valid mechanic lien rights.
Who Cancels the Idaho Lien if/when I get Paid?
Idaho does not have specific requirements regarding the cancellation of a lien upon payment. Generally, however, a payment to satisfy a lien will be made in consideration of the claimant executing a satisfaction of lien document.
What Are the Lien Waiver Rules?
Idaho does not have statutory lien waiver forms, and therefore, you can use any lien waiver forms. Since lien waivers are unregulated, be careful when reviewing and signing lien waivers. See this article: Should You Sign That Lien Waiver?. Idaho state law is unclear or silent about whether contractors and suppliers can waive their lien rights before any work on the project begins. Accordingly, you want to proceed with caution on this subject. You can learn more about such “no lien clauses” at this article: Where Can You Waive Your Lien Rights Before Payment?
Do I need to send a Idaho Preliminary Notice?
No. Idaho does not require any notice to be given prior to the filing of a mechanics lien. For residential projects, however, the general contractor must provide the homeowner or residential property purchaser with a written Residential Disclosure Statement prior to entering into a contract greater than $2000. Further, any party may choose to send a Notice of Intent to Lien in an attempt to get paid.
When do I need to send a Idaho Preliminary Notice?
What if I send the Idaho Preliminary Notice Late?
How Should the Idaho Preliminary Notice be Sent?
Do I have to send the Idaho Preliminary Notice to Someone Other than the Owner?
Preliminary notice is not required. A copy of the lien documents themselves must be sent only to the owner, or reputed owner.
Is the Idaho Preliminary Notice Considered Delivered When Sent or When Received?
No preliminary notice is required. The Claim of Lien considered delivered when personally served, or when sent certified mail return receipt requested.