Georgia
Mechanics Lien & Notice FAQs

It’s easy to file Georgia mechanics liens with zlien, the web’s leading all-in-one mechanics lien compliance manager and security platform. Plus, the zlien platform can help you prepare and file mechanics lien cancellations, preliminary notices, and more. To learn more about Georgia’s mechanics lien law, read the information below.

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Georgia

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None.

Georgia

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 Days
Must be filed within 90 days of last furnishing labor/materials. Action to enforce must be initiated within 365 days after filing the lien. Within 30 days after commencing the action, must file a commencement of lien action notice. File your Georgia lien online now.

Georgia

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None, unless owner files Notice of Commencement. Then, Notice to Contractor must be sent to Owner and Contractor within 30 days of first delivering services or materials.

Georgia

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 Days
Must be filed within 90 days of last furnishing labor/materials. Action to enforce must be initiated within 365 days after filing the lien. Within 30 days after commencing the action, must file a commencement of lien action notice. File your Georgia lien online now.

Georgia

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None, unless owner files Notice of Commencement. Then, Notice to Contractor must be sent to Owner and Contractor within 30 days of first delivering services or materials.

Georgia

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 Days
Must be filed within 90 days of last furnishing labor/materials. Action to enforce must be initiated within 365 days after filing the lien. Within 30 days after commencing the action, must file a commencement of lien action notice. File your Georgia lien online now.

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How to File a Georgia Mechanics Lien

We have a comprehensive guide available to with step-by-step instructions to help you file a Georgia mechanics lien. Simply click the button below to download your free copy.

 

Georgia Mechanics Lien Guide Download


5 Things to Know About Georgia Mechanics Liens

1) Georgia Mechanics Lien Laws Cover Several Types of Project Participants

The list of parties who can file a mechanics lien is fairly long in Georgia. Contractors of all sorts who have taken no personal security for labor or materials furnished are eligible to file for a Georgia mechanics lien. This includes general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers (to general contractors and subcontractors), laborers, registered architects, registered professional engineers, machinists or manufacturers of machinery, and equipment renters. If you are required to be licensed by state laws but are unlicensed, you will forfeit your mechanics lien rights.

2) There Is Only One Deadline for All Project Participants Filing a Mechanics Lien in Georgia

The deadline to file a mechanics lien in Georgia for all parties is 90 days from the last date labor or materials were supplied on the project.

3) If a Project Participant Is Not in Direct Contact with the Property Owner, Preliminary Notice May Be Required

The only situation where a preliminary notice is required is when the party did not contract with the property owner, and there was a Notice of Commencement filed on the project by the property owner. If these two conditions are met, the preliminary notice is required to be sent within 30 days of the first date of furnishing labor or materials to the project, or within 30 days of the filing of the Notice of Commencement, whichever date is later. Those who contracted directly with the property owner do not have any preliminary notice requirements. If there was no Notice of Commencement filed, preliminary notice may not be required but can be sent by any party to ensure their lien rights.

4) Georgia Mechanics Lien Law Does Not Require a Notary

In many states, the mechanics lien is required to be notarized in order to be valid. This is not the case in Georgia, however, it is best practice to have it notarized anyway to be safe.

5) Attorney’s Fees May Be Reimbursed

Georgia does not allow for attorney’s fees or other consequential damage to be included as part of the lien claim. Attorney’s fees and interest may be recoverable in a successful foreclosure action, however.


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Georgia Frequently Asked Questions

Georgia Mechanics Lien FAQs

The following parties have mechanics lien rights in Georgia: mechanics of all sorts who have taken no personal security for work done or materials furnished, contractors, subcontractors, materialmen to contractors or subcontractors, laborers, registered architects, registered surveyors, registered professional engineers, contractors/subcontractors/materialmen furnishing material to subcontractors, machinists/manufacturers of machinery, equipment rentors. Unlicensed parties who are required to be licensed by state law are not entitled to mechanics lien protection.

Georgia law requires that all lien claimants file their mechanics lien within 90 days of the date they last supplied labor or materials.

Georgia law requires that the lien claimant send a copy of the lien claim to the owner of the property, by registered or certified mail or overnight delivery. If the owner’s address cannot be found, it is allowable for the lien to be sent to the prime contractor as an agent of the owner. This notice is essential, and must be sent within 2 business days of the filing of the lien itself.

Yes, but be careful. Georgia recently amended its mechanics lien statutes to allow for certain types of charges to be included in a lien claim. The law went into effect on July 1, 2013, and there aren’t any cases interpreting its consequences. Accordingly, no one is sure how the courts will interpret the change. The text of the statute, however, explicitly allows the inclusion of “interest on the principal amount due in accordance with Code Section 7-4-2 or 7-4-16” and the inclusion of “the amount due and owing…under the terms of its express or implied contract, subcontractor, or purchase order…” It is not clear how far reaching this provision will be. It is clear, however, that attorney’s fees and interest may be recovered in a foreclosure action when the lien is enforced. Read more about the recent Georgia law changes on our blog here: Georgia Mechanics Lien Amendment Signed by the Governor.

In Georgia, all lien claimants must initiate the enforcement of the lien within 365 days from the date on which the lien was filed. Further, within 30 days after commencing the action to enforce (within 395 days from the filing of the lien), the claimant must file a commencement of lien action notice with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the lien was filed. Failure to meet either deadline (for initiation of enforcement action or filing notice of such action) will result in the expiration of the lien claim.

Not generally. The following types of liens are always superior to mechanics liens in Georgia: liens for taxes, general and special liens of laborers, general liens of landlords for rent, purchase money bonds for title, general liens when actual notice of the lien was communicated prior to the furnishing of labor and materials. Mechanics liens are superior to all other liens according to the first-in-time rule, however all liens for repairs, building, or furnishing materials are considered to have the same priority no matter when filed, if they were filed timely. Mechanics liens are prior to a real estate mortgage for financing construction improvements in Georgia, but not a deed to secure debt.

No. It is not specifically required that a lien be notarized to be valid in Georgia. However, having the lien notarized may constitute best-practice to avoid potential pitfalls.

If an entity is required to be licensed by state law, that entity must have a license in order to have valid mechanic lien rights. If there is no state licensing requirement, there is no additional license requirement imposed by the mechanics lien laws.  There isn’t exactly crystal clear legal clarity on this point in Georgia. You can view a short article we wrote about this issue here:  The Importance of Being Registered To Work in Georgia.

A mechanics lien may be filed against an individual condominium just as against every other property provided the lien claimant has valid mechanics lien rights.  For more detailed information on filing Georgia mechanics lien claims against condominium projects see: Issues When Claiming Against Condominiums.

A lienor may be required to execute a release of lien when paid.

Georgia 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. Also, Georgia state law prohibits contractors and suppliers from waiving their right to file a mechanics lien in contract.

To learn more about lien waivers, see our Georgia Lien Waiver FAQs and Resources.

Georgia Preliminary Notice FAQs

It depends. Notice is never required for a prime contractor, or any party in direct contractual relation with the owner. For all other parties, if a Notice of Commencement is not filed, no preliminary notice is required. However, a party is allowed to file a Preliminary Notice of Lien. This notice prevents lien rights from being knocked out by a prime contractor’s affidavit or lien waiver attesting to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers. The notice should be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the project is located, and a copy of the filed notice should be sent to the owner and general contractor within 7 days of filing by certified mail return receipt requested. If a Notice of Commencement was filed, all potential lien claimants not in direct contractual relation with the general contractor must send a Notice to Contractor to the property owner and the general contractor.

Preliminary notices, for those parties required or choosing to send them, should be sent within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project, or 30 days from the filing of the Notice of Commencement, whichever is later.

Failure to provide a timely preliminary notice, if the a Notice of Commencement was not filed, has no consequence to a party’s lien rights provided the contractor has not attested in an affidavit to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers. If the contractor has so attested, lien rights may be extinguished if the preliminary notice has not been filed. Failure to provide the Notice to Contractor within the statutorily mandated time frame, when such notice is required, is fatal to the lien claim in Georgia.
This preliminary notice of lien rights should be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the project is located, and a copy of the filed notice should be sent to the owner and general contractor within 7 days of filing by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery. The Notice to Contractor must be sent by registered or certified mail, or by statutory overnight delivery.  Where the statute calls for delivery by certified mail, standard certified mail is recommended and there is no need to send with return receipt requested. See more at How To Send Notice to Owners – Standard Certified Mail, or Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested?

Notice should be sent to the owner and the prime contractor.

The preliminary notice is considered delivered at the time of mailing.  When notices must be sent by certified mail, Georgia courts have consistently held that actual delivery is immaterial, and that the sending party need only demonstrate that the mailing was sent according to statutory requirements. See more in our discussion here:  How To Send Notice to Owners – Standard Certified Mail, or Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested?