Contractors – Construction Liens – Utah
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of Utah construction or mechanic’s lien laws, but does include basic provisions.
What is a construction or mechanic’s lien?
Every State permits a person who supplies labor or materials for a construction project to claim a lien against the improved property. While some states differ in their definition of improvements and some states limit lien claims to buildings or structures, most permit the filing of a document with the local court that puts parties interested in the property on notice that the party asserting the lien has a claim. States differ widely in the method and time within which a party may act on their lien. Also varying widely are the requirements of written notices between property owners, contractors, subcontractors and laborers, and in some cases lending institutions. As a general rule, these statutes serve to prevent unpleasant surprises by compelling parties who wish to assert their legal rights to put all parties who might be interested in the property on notice of a claim or the possibility of a claim. This by no means constitutes a complete discussion of construction lien law and should not be interpreted as such. Parties seeking to know more about construction laws in their State should always consult their State statutes directly.
Who can claim a lien in this State?
Contractors, subcontractors, and all persons performing any services or furnishing or renting any materials or equipment used in the construction, alteration, or improvement of any building or structure or improvement to any premises in any manner and licensed architects and engineers and artisans who have furnished designs, plats, plans, maps, specifications, drawings, estimates of cost, surveys or superintendence, or who have rendered other like professional service, or bestowed labor, shall have a lien upon the property upon or concerning which they have rendered service, performed labor, or furnished or rented materials or equipment for the value of the service rendered, labor performed, or materials or equipment furnished or rented by each respectively, whether at the instance of the owner or of any other person acting by his authority as agent, contractor.
How long does a party have to claim a lien?
A person claiming benefits under Utah’s mechanic’s Lien Statue shall file for record with the county recorder of the county in which the property, or some part of the property, is situated, a written notice to hold and claim a lien within 90 days from the date:(a) the person last performed labor or service or last furnished equipment or material on a project or improvement for a residence as defined in Section 38-11-102; or (b) of final completion of an original contract not involving a residence as defined in Section 38-11-102.
How long is a lien good for?
A lien claimant shall file an action to enforce the lien within: (a) twelve months from the date of final completion of the original contract not involving a residence as defined in Section 38-11-102; or (b) 180 days from the date the lien claimant last performed labor and services or last furnished equipment or material for a residence, as defined in Section 38-11-102.
Does this State require or provide for a notice from subcontractors and laborers to property owners?
Yes. A contractor is required to record and serve upon the property owner a Notice of Commencement and a subcontractor or supplier a very similar Preliminary Notice.
Does this State require or provide for a notice from the property owner to the contractor, subcontractor, or laborers?
Yes. A property owner may issue a written demand that a lien claimant who’s lien has been satisfied record a cancellation of lien.
Does this State permit a person with an interest in property to deny responsibility for improvements?
No. Utah does not have a provision which permits a property owner to deny responsibility for improvements.
Is a notice attesting to the satisfaction of a lien provided for or required?
Yes. The claimant of any lien filed, on the payment of the amount thereof together with the costs incurred and the fees for cancellation, shall at the request of any person interested in the property charged therewith cause said lien to be canceled of record within ten days from the request, and upon failure to so cancel his lien within the time aforesaid shall forfeit and pay to the person making the request the sum of $20 per day until the same shall be canceled, to be recovered in the same manner as other debts.
Does this State permit the use of a bond to release a lien?
No. Utah mechanic lien law has no specific provisions regarding the release of a lien through the use of a bond.