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Delaware Construction Lien Law

Contractors – Construction Liens – Delaware

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of Delaware’s construction lien laws, but does include basic provisions.

When and By Whom A Lien May Be Filed.

Delaware law permits any person who performs or furnishes labor or material in excess of $25.00 in value for the erection, alteration, or repair of any structure under written or express contract with the structure’s owner, contractor, or subcontractor, to obtain a lien for the value of labor or materials provided.  DE Tit. 25, § 2702  However, a lien may not attach to if improvements are made to land alone unless a written contract is created that contains specific information found in DE Tit. 25, § 2703.

Notice of Materials or Labor Furnished.

The owner of any structure being built, repaired, or altered, may require the contractor to provide him a list of all persons who have provided labor or materials to the structure and may be entitled to a lien.  The contractor has ten days to furnish the list or the owner may elect to withhold payments and the contractor may not avail himself of the other provisions of Delaware’s lien law. DE Tit. 25, § 2705.

Requirement of a Contractor’s Notice or Release Affidavit.

DE Tit. 25, § 2707 places a duty on the contractor to provide the property owner with one of two types of written notification that certify that no liens will be filed against the owner’s property.  The contractor may provide either a Notice which states that the contractor has paid everyone who might be entitled to a lien in full, or an affidavit signed by all parties who provided labor or materials releasing the right to file a claim and pursue a lien. Failure to provide one of these documents to the property owner prior to or simultaneous with the full and final payment of the owner to the contractor is sufficient cause to suspend or revoke the contractor’s license.  DE Tit. 25, § 2707

Timely Filing of A Statement of Claim

If the contractor in question has a contract directly with the owner, and has furnished labor and materials to the structure, he must wait ninety (90) days before he may file a statement of claim.  The contractor then has thirty (30) days from the expiration of the ninety (90) day period to file his lien.  Otherwise,  a claim statement must be filed within ninety (90) days of of the completion of labor or from the last date of delivery of materials.  DE Tit. 25, § 2711

Filing a Statement of Claim

Any person entitled to a lien against an improved property must file a Statement of Claim or a complaint with the Prothonotary of the Superior Court in and for the county where the structure is situated.  The claim statement requires extensive information about the construction transaction.  For specific information required, please see DE Tit. 25, § 2712 or UsLegalForm DE-05-09.

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