Hawaii
Mechanics Lien & Notice FAQs

While you need to enlist a Hawaii attorney to file a mechanics lien in Hawaii or do it yourself, the zlien platform can help you create preliminary notices, notices of intent to lien, and more. To learn more about Hawaii mechanics lien law, read the information below.

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Hawaii

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None.

Hawaii

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
45 Days
In Hawaii, a lien claimant must file the lien within 45 days of the completion of the improvement.

When a Notice of Completion is filed, that will mark the completion date of the project, and a mechanics lien must be filed within 45 days of that Notice of Completion.

If no Notice of Completion is filed, the improvement will be considered completed one year after the substantial completion of the project - and a mechanics lien must be filed with 45 days of that date.

Hawaii

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None.

Hawaii

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
45 Days
In Hawaii, a lien claimant must file the lien within 45 days of the completion of the improvement.

When a Notice of Completion is filed, that will mark the completion date of the project, and a mechanics lien must be filed within 45 days of that Notice of Completion.

If no Notice of Completion is filed, the improvement will be considered completed one year after the substantial completion of the project - and a mechanics lien must be filed with 45 days of that date.

Hawaii

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None.

Hawaii

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
45 Days
In Hawaii, a lien claimant must file the lien within 45 days of the completion of the improvement.

When a Notice of Completion is filed, that will mark the completion date of the project, and a mechanics lien must be filed within 45 days of that Notice of Completion.

If no Notice of Completion is filed, the improvement will be considered completed one year after the substantial completion of the project - and a mechanics lien must be filed with 45 days of that date.
Calculate your deadline with the Payment Rights Advisor >

5 Things to Know About Hawaii Mechanics Liens

1) A Project Participant Must be Licensed In Order to have Hawaii Mechanics Lien Rights

Most project participants are entitled to file a Hawaii mechanics lien.  General contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, suppliers, and laborers all have mechanics lien rights. Architects, design professionals, and engineers also have lien rights if their work was incorporated into the project. It is important to remember that in Hawaii, an unlicensed party does not have mechanics lien rights if state law requires that party to be licensed. Further, even if a subcontractor or supplier would otherwise have mechanics lien rights, they will lose those rights if the general contractor on the project is not licensed.

2) The Deadline to File a Hawaii Mechanics Lien is a Fixed 45 Days for All Parties

The deadline to file a mechanics lien in Hawaii is 45 days from the last date labor or materials were furnished to the project. Once the lien is filed, the project participant must serve a copy of the Application for a Lien and the Notice of Lien on the owner of the property or any other persons with interest in the property. The general practice in Hawaii is to combine all necessary components of the lien into one court filing, filed by the claimant’s attorney in the proper Hawaii circuit court.

3) There Is No Preliminary Notice Requirement in Hawaii

Unlike most states, there are no preliminary notice requirements in Hawaii. However, project participants can still file an Intent to Lien in order to initiate the process of getting paid.

4) Filing a Mechanics Lien in Hawaii Requires Legal Action

An interesting fact about Hawaii is that filing a mechanics lien entails initiating a legal proceeding. This means that the process is a little bit more involved then what is typical. The mechanics lien requires a court hearing (within 3-10 days) with a judge to determine if there is probable cause for the lien claim. Failure to adhere to this deadline will result in the forfeit of lien rights.

5) Hawaii Mechanics Liens Do Not Take Priority Over Pre-existing Encumbrances

Mechanics liens in Hawaii do not take priority over pre-existing construction loans and mortgages. Generally, all mechanics liens in Hawaii are equal in priority and only have priority over other liens or encumbrances arising after the visible commencement of the improvement. Liens in favor of the government, mortgages, and liens previously recorded all have priority over Hawaii mechanics liens.


 

Hawaii Frequently Asked Questions

Hawaii Mechanics Lien FAQs

In Hawaii, the parties entitled to mechanics lien protection are defined as “any person or association of persons furnishing labor or material in the improvement of real property.” This is generally understood to mean that general contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, suppliers, laborers, design professionals, architects, and engineers are entitled to file a mechanics lien under H.R.S. Sec. 507-42. However, an architect’s or design professional’s work must be incorporated into the project in order to have lien rights.

An unlicensed party does not have lien rights in Hawaii if state law requires that party to be licensed, also a licensed subcontractor (or other party lower on the chain) does not have lien rights if the original contractor is unlicensed.

In Hawaii, a lien claimant must file the lien within 45 days of the completion of the improvements.

If a Notice of Completion is filed, that will mark the completion of the project and a mechanics lien must be filed within 45 days of that date.

If no Notice of Completion is filed, the improvement will be considered completed one year after the substantial completion of the project – and a mechanics lien must be filed with 45 days of that date.

Yes. Hawaii law requires that the lien claimant serve a copy of the Application for a Lien and the Notice of Lien on the owner of the property, any person with an interest therein, and upon the party who contracted for the improvements if other than the owner or person with an interest in the property. This is an essential part of a Hawaii mechanics lien, and should be served on the parties personally. The general practice in Hawaii is to combine all necessary components of the lien into one court filing, filed by the claimant’s attorney in the Hawaii circuit court of the circuit where the property is located.

No. In Hawaii, amounts not typically allowed in mechanics lien claims include interest, attorney’s fees, lost profits, and food/transportation/housing for out of state workers.

In Hawaii, all lien claimants must initiate the enforcement of the lien within 3 months from the date on which the lien attached. 3 –10 days after the lien is filed, a court will determine if probable cause exists for the lien. If probable cause is found, the lien attaches on that date. Failure to meet this deadline for enforcement will result in the expiration of the lien claim.

No. In Hawaii, mechanics liens take effect from the time of visible commencement of the improvement. Generally all mechanics lien are equal in priority, and have priority over all other liens except liens in favor of the government, mortgages, and any pre-recorded liens.

No. It is not specifically required that a lien be notarized to be valid in Hawaii.

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. Further, if the original contractor is unlicensed a properly licensed party further down-the-chain may not have lien rights.

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.

Upon satisfaction of the lien, a written notice shall be filed with the clerk of court at the expense of the lienee, and thereby noted in the mechanics lien record.

Hawaii does not have statutory lien waiver forms; therefore, you can use any lien waiver form. Since lien waivers are unregulated, be careful when reviewing and signing lien waivers.

Hawaii 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.

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

Hawaii Preliminary Notice FAQs

No. Hawaii does not require any notice to be given prior to the filing of a mechanics lien. However, a party can choose to send a Notice of Intent to Lien to the property owner to begin the process of attempting to get paid.

N/A

Preliminary notices are not required in Hawaii, so it is impossible to send a preliminary notice untimely.

Preliminary notices are not required in Hawaii, but if a party chooses to send any pre-lien notice, it may be sent however that party chooses.

Preliminary notice is not required. A copy of the lien documents themselves must be sent to the owner, any party with an interest in the property, and the party who contracted for the improvement, if that is a different party.

No preliminary notice is required. The lien documents themselves are considered delivered when personally served.