Mechanics Lien & Notice FAQs
It’s easy to file Idaho 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 Idaho’s mechanics lien law, read the information below.
Preliminary Notice Deadlines
Preliminary Notice Deadlines
Preliminary Notice Deadlines
5 Things to Know About Idaho Mechanics Liens
1) Idaho Mechanics Lien Law Is Friendly to Contractors
Idaho mechanics lien law is lenient. One way to describe it might be that Idaho is very friendly to those in the construction industry, as most anyone in Idaho providing labor or materials to be used in “virtually any kind of real property or improvement is granted mechanics lien rights.” This extends to material or equipment lessors, professional engineers, licensed land surveyors, and even persons providing on-site management or supervision. Note, however, that a valid license may be required if the work being performed requires a license.
2) The Deadline to File an Idaho Mechanics Lien Is Counted From Date of Last Furnishing
The deadline to file a mechanics lien in Idaho is 90 days within the last date of furnishing labor and materials to the project. If the work is substantially complete and a project participant is just performing “punch-list work,” or other work that is trivial in nature, the deadline will not be extended. However, if a project participant is required to remedy a defect at the demand of a public inspector, that work is not considered trivial and will likely extend the deadline by which a mechanics lien must be filed.
3) Only the General Contractor May Be Required to Send Preliminary Notice
The only instance in Idaho where preliminary notice is required to be sent prior to claiming a valid Idaho mechanics lien is when a general contractor is performing work on a residential project with a contract in excess of $2,000. The general contractor must send a Residential Disclosure Statement if this is the case (see below).
4) Attorney’s Fees May Be Reimbursed
In Idaho, you cannot claim attorney’s fees and other consequential damages as part of the lien amount. However, if a project participant needs to foreclose on the lien, they are entitled to recover the attorney’s fees and filing costs.
5) The Bottom Tiers of Mechanics Lien Claimants Tend to Take Priority
In Idaho, there is a set order for which party’s mechanics lien takes priority. Laborers’ claims take first priority. Next in line are material men, followed by subcontractors, then the prime contractor, and then engineers/surveyors.
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Idaho Frequently Asked Questions
Idaho Mechanics Lien FAQs
Idaho provides relatively broad mechanics lien rights. According to Idaho statute, “every person performing labor upon, or furnishing materials to be used in the construction, alteration or repair” of 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No. Idaho only requires that the property be described sufficiently for identification.
Yes. Idaho requires mechanics liens to be notarized.
It depends. Idaho law is intricate on 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.
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.
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.
Idaho 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.
Idaho has no specific statutory provision disallowing lien waiver in advance of payment, but Idaho court decisions have routinely declared advance lien waivers to be unenforceable unless the waiver is supported by some consideration
To learn more about lien waivers, see our Idaho Lien Waiver FAQs and Resources.
Idaho Preliminary Notice FAQs
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.
Preliminary notices are not required in Idaho, so it is impossible to send a preliminary notice untimely.
Preliminary notices are not required in Idaho, 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 only to the owner, or reputed owner.
No preliminary notice is required. The Claim of Lien is considered delivered when personally served, or when sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.