Missouri
Mechanics Lien & Notice FAQs

It's easy to file Missouri mechanics liens with zlien, the web's leading all-in-one mechanics lien compliance manager and security platform. Plus, zlien's platform can help you prepare and file mechanics lien cancellations, preliminary notices, and more. Missouri is an Unpaid Balance state. To learn more about Missouri's mechanics lien law, read the frequently asked questions below.

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Missouri

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
Disclosure notice served on owner prior to first payment.

Missouri

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
180 Days
Lien within 6 months of last work, enforced 6 months from filing.

Missouri

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
10 Days
Notice of Intent to Lien 10 days prior to filing lien. Written consent from residential owner before work.

Missouri

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
180 Days
Lien within 6 months of last work, enforced 6 months from filing.

Missouri

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
10 Days
Notice of Intent to Lien 10 days prior to filing lien. Written consent from residential owner before work. Equipment rental within 15 days of delivery.

Missouri

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
180 Days
Lien within 6 months of last work, enforced 6 months from filing. Equipment lessors must file lien w/in 60 days of removing equipment.

Complete Guide to Missouri Lien Law

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Missouri Frequently Asked Questions

Missouri Mechanics Lien FAQ

In Missouri, general contractors, subcontractors, laborers, suppliers of material, equipment lessors, registered architects, engineers, and surveyors have mechanics lien rights. This specifically includes landscaping services. However, for equipment lessors, a lien is only allowed on commercial projects where the claim is greater than $5000.

For owner-occupied residential projects of 4 units or less, only parties with a direct contract with the owner-occupier may assert a mechanics lien, unless the owner has signed a consent of owner document allowing mechanics liens by unpaid subs and suppliers.

In Missouri, a mechanics lien must be filed within 6 months after the last day labor and/or materials were furnished to the project.

Mechanics liens asserted by an equipment lessor must be filed within 60 days from the date on which the lessor removes the last piece of equipment from the property.

No. In Missouri, the lien claimant must file the mechanics lien with the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the property is located – and provide the required preliminary notices. There is no requirement, however, that the lien be served on any party subsequent to its recording. There is no rule prohibiting sending the lien after recordation, if the lien claimant so desires.

No. Missouri mechanics liens do not allow attorney’s fees, interest, or consequential damages to be included in the lien amount. The amount of the lien is limited to unpaid labor, material, and/or equipment supplied to the project, and customary profit and overhead. Attorney’s fees and interest are generally awarded to the lien claimant if successful in a foreclosure action, however.

Note also that Missouri mechanics lien filings must include a “just and true account” of the amount alleged due. For general contractors this can just be a “lump sum,” although its a good idea to include as much detail as possible. Subcontractors, however, must include an itemization of the materials and labor furnished and unpaid. For a discussion of this, see this blog post: Missouri Mechanics Lien “Just And True Account” Requirement Explained By Appeals Court.

In Missouri, an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated within 6 months after filing the lien.

No. A mechanics lien will not have priority over a pre-existing mortgage or construction loan, but will have priority over subsequent encumbrances. For priority purposes, all mechanics liens relate back to the commencement of work on the project. This means that a mechanics lien would have priority over encumbrances not recorded at the time the first work began on the property.

Among competing mechanics liens, all lien claimants have equal priority as the liens all relate back to the same point in time.

Probably. While a partially deficient legal property description has been determined to be sufficient in some Missouri cases, Missouri requires a “true description of the property, or so near as to identify same” which has been generally held to be a legal description of the property. However, Missouri courts have determined that the description of the property “need not be letter perfect” and that “when the rights of third parties are not involved, the description need only be sufficient to enable one familiar with the locality to identify the premises intended to be covered by the lien.”

Yes. Missouri requires that a mechanics lien statement be notarized in order to be valid.

Missouri does not impose any licensing requirements specifically related to a lien claimant’s ability to claim a mechanics lien. However, if a party is required to be licensed to perform the work he performs, it is unadvisable to not be licensed.

Yes, a mechanics lien may be filed against a project involving a condominium, provided the lien claimant would otherwise have valid mechanics lien rights.

In Missouri, when the claim is paid, the lien claimant is required to file a release of mechanics lien statement in the circuit court in which the lien was filed. This should be done whether or not requested by the party making payment as failure to file the release within 10 days may result in a claim for damages.

Missouri statutorily mandates that all parties on a construction project use certain legislatively designed construction lien waiver forms. This state is one of only 11 states that requires this. If a contractor or owner asks you to use a lien waiver form that does not conform to the statutory form, the waiver will be invalid and the contractor could get in legal trouble. See this article: The 11 States with Statutory Lien Waiver Forms.

Missouri does not allow lien waivers “in anticipation of and in consideration for the awarding of a contract or subcontract to perform work or supply materials for an improvement upon real property.”  It is not specifically mentioned as to whether an advance lien waiver given after a contract is signed – such that it wasn’t “in consideration for the awarding of” the contract – would be enforceable.

To learn more about lien waivers, see our Missouri Lien Waivers FAQs and Resources.

Missouri Preliminary Notice FAQs

Yes. Missouri requires certain notices to be provided prior to asserting a mechanics lien.

All parties who contract directly with the property owner (excluding architects) must provide the owner with a disclosure notice prior to receiving any payments from the owner.

All parties who do not contract directly with the property owner on residential owner-occupied projects should have the general contractor obtain a consent of owner document (signed by the property owner). Otherwise, those parties who do not have a direct contract with the owner will not have lien rights.

All equipment lessors on commercial projects where the rental amount exceeds $5000 must provide the property owner with notice that the equipment is being used on the property within 15 business days from the commencement of the use of the equipment.

All claimants other than the original contractor must provide the property owner with a notice of intent to lien at least 10 days prior to recording the lien.

On residential projects, if the property owner has filed a notice of intended sale, every potential lien claimant must file a notice of lien rights with the county recorder of deeds no less than 5 days prior to the date of proposed transfer.

The Disclosure Notice to Owner must be provided prior to receiving any payments from the owner.

The Notice of Equipment Lease should be provided to the owner within 15 days from the commencement of the use of the equipment.

The Notice of Intent to Lien must be provided to the owner at least 10 days prior to the recording of the lien.

The Notice of Lien Rights, if required, must be filed no less than 5 days prior to the date of the proposed transfer of the property.

The failure to provide the Notice to Owner when required is absolutely fatal to a valid lien claim in Missouri. Further, failure to provide this notice, with an intent to defraud, will cause the contractor to be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

The failure to provide a Notice of Equipment Lease within the required time period is fatal to a subsequent mechanics lien claim.

The failure to provide a Notice of Lien Rights, when required, is fatal to a lien claim in Missouri.

Failure to provide the Notice of Intent to Lien within the required time period is fatal to a lien claim in Missouri.

There is no specific provision that sets forth how the Notice to Owner should be sent. Best practice would be to serve the owner through personal service or certified mail.

There is no specific provision regarding how the Notice of Equipment Lease must be given to the owner, it must be “provided” to the owner.

The Notice of Lien Rights must be recorded in the office of the county recorder of deeds in the county where the property is located.

The Notice of Intent to Lien must be personally served by an officer authorized to serve process, or by a person who would be a competent witness. Proof of service is required.

Not generally, except that a notice of lien rights must be filed in the office of the recorder of deeds in the county in which the property is located.

Generally, in Missouri, notices are considered delivered when sent by certified mail, return receipt requested unless required to be personally served. When personally served, they are considered delivered when personally served.