Michigan
Mechanics Lien & Notice FAQs

It's easy to file Michigan 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. Michigan is an Unpaid Balance state. To learn more about Michigan's mechanics lien law, read the frequently asked questions below.

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Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
Upon request
Must provide list of subs and suppliers upon request.

Michigan

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 Days
Lien must be filed within 90 days from last providing materials or labor. Action to enforce must be commenced within 1 year from filing of lien. File your Michigan lien online now.

Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
20 Days
Notice of furnishing to owner and prime within 20 days after first providing labor or materials. Laborer has 30 days after wages were due, and not paid, to serve notice.

Michigan

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 Days
Lien must be filed within 90 days from last providing materials or labor. Action to enforce must be commenced within 1 year from filing of lien. File your Michigan lien online now.

Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
20 Days
Notice of furnishing to owner and prime within 20 days after first providing labor or materials.

Michigan

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
90 Days
Lien must be filed within 90 days from last providing materials or labor. Action to enforce must be commenced within 1 year from filing of lien. File your Michigan lien online now.

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Michigan Frequently Asked Questions

Michigan Mechanics Lien FAQs

In Michigan, the parties allowed to file a mechanics lien are contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, or laborers who provide improvement to real property. Michigan imposes no limit as to what tier of subcontractor may claim a lien, and a supplier to any tier of subcontractor is likewise allowed mechanics lien protection. Suppliers to suppliers are not allowed to claim a mechanics lien in Michigan. If the project is on residential property, only licensed contractors and subcontractors have lien rights. Further, the contractor or subcontractor (only excluding plumbing, electrical, and mechanical subs) is required to be licensed as a “residential builder” or “residential maintenance and alteration contractor.” If the lien claimant is unlicensed, or his license has lapsed, the lien will not stand, and he will both be liable to the property owner for damages and may be guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. It should be noted that both the entity and the individual person that enter into the contract must be licensed. If the project is on a residential structure with two or less units, a general contractor is only allowed to file a lien if he has a written contract with the property owner.

In Michigan, a mechanics lien, called a Claim of Lien, must be filed with the Register of Deeds within 90 days after the lien claimant last furnished labor or materials to the project.

Yes. Within 15 days of the recordation of the Claim of Lien, a copy of the claim and any proofs of service filed with the lien, must be served on the owner’s designee, as noted on the notice of commencement. It must be served by personal service, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. If a designee was not noted on the notice of commencement, the claim may be served on the owner or lessee. After receiving the claim of lien, an owner may request a written statement from the lien claimant setting forth the amount of labor and/or materials furnished, the amount presently due, and the balance of work still to be performed. If the lien claimant does not provide this statement within 10 days from the request, he will be liable for any damages incurred due to not providing the statement, and the owner is not obligated to honor any request for payment by the lien claimant until the written statement is provided.

No. In Michigan, a mechanics lien is limited to the amount of the claimant’s contract, minus the amounts already paid (although the amount of contract includes extra work, even if not yet recognized through a change order). Attorney’s fees may be awarded by the court to the successful lien claimant in a foreclosure action, but are not allowed to be included in the claim of lien itself.

In Michigan, it is required that an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated within 1 year from the date on which the lien was recorded.

The priority of mechanics liens in Michigan, as related to other encumbrances on the property, is determined by the first date of actual physical improvement to the property. For a construction loan to have priority over a mechanics lien, the loan must have been recorded prior to any physical work taking place. Competing mechanics liens are treated as having the same priority.

Yes. Michigan requires that the Claim of Lien include a legal description of the property to be encumbered by the lien.

Yes. Michigan requires that the Claim of Lien be notarized in order to be valid.

Not on a residential project. Michigan has strict licensing requirements for potential lien claimants who wish to file a lien on a residential property. The penalties for not being licensed when required are harsh. Only licensed contractors and subcontractors have lien rights. Further, the contractor or subcontractor (only excluding plumbing, electrical, and mechanical subs) is required to be licensed as a “residential builder” or “residential maintenance and alteration contractor.” If the lien claimant is unlicensed, or his license has lapsed, the lien will not stand, and he will both be liable to the property owner for damages and may be guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. It should be noted that both the entity and the individual person that enter into the contract must 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 subject to the following limitations: 1) a construction lien for an improvement furnished to a condominium unit or to a limited common element shall attach only to the condominium unit to which the improvement was furnished; 2) a construction lien for an improvement authorized by the developer of a condominium project and performed upon the common elements shall attach only to condominium units owned by the developer at the time of recording of the claim of lien; 3) a construction lien for an improvement authorized by the association of co-owners of condominium units shall attach to each condominium unit only to the proportional extent that the co-owner of the condominium unit is required to contribute to the expenses of administration; and 4) a construction lien shall not arise or attach to a condominium unit for work performed on the common elements, if the work was not contracted for by the developer or the association of co-owners of condominium units.

The lien claimant. Michigan law provides that “when any claim of lien has been fully paid, the lien claimant shall deliver to the owner, lessee, or other person making payment a certificate, witnessed and acknowledged in the same manner as a discharge of mortgage, that the claim has been paid and is now discharged. If an action to enforce the construction lien through foreclosure is pending, the lien claimant also shall furnish, upon request, those documents which are necessary to effect a discontinuance or dismissal of the action and a discharge of any notice of lis pendens filed in connection with the action.”

Michigan 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, Michigan 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 Michigan Lien Waiver FAQs and Resources.

Michigan Preliminary Notice FAQs

A prime contractor is not generally required to give any preliminary notice in Michigan, but must provide a list of subcontractors and suppliers, if requested. Any party who does not have a direct contract with the property owner (or owner’s agent) must provide a Notice of Furnishing within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project. On a residential project, a Sworn Statement must be provided to the owner (by a prime contractor) and to the prime contractor (by a subcontractor) before being paid any progress or final payment. The statement lists all subcontractors, sub-subs, suppliers, and laborers, with whom the party has contracted and lists amounts unpaid to them, if any.

A Notice of Furnishing is required to be given no later than 20 days after first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If the lien claimant is a laborer, the notice must be given within 30 days from when wages were due. However, quicker noticing may be advisable because the owner is not liable for amounts already paid to the contractor prior to receiving the notice. The Sworn Statement should be provided whenever payment is due or requested on a residential project.

If the Notice of Furnishing is not provided timely, all is not necessarily lost. The failure to give the notice within the proper time period is not fatal to a lien claim in Michigan, but will reduce the amount of the lien by any amount paid by the owner for that work prior to the receipt of the notice.

The Notice of Furnishing should be served on the owner’s designee (or owner if no person is designated by the notice of commencement) and the general contractor either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Yes. The Notice of Furnishing must also be served on the general contractor.