Washington State’s Mechanic Lien Requirements

In the state of Washington, all contractors must be registered with the Department of Labor to enforce any potential lien rights and bond claims. Washington’s mechanics and material men’s lien laws provide contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and professional service providers with Washington mechanics lien rights to protect their entitlement to payment on private construction projects. Under Washington law, a construction lien would not only encumber the owner’s interest in the property, but it is also possible to lien an owner’s construction financing. That would require the construction financing entity to withhold the amount of the mechanics lien from the owner’s construction draw downs until the construction lien is released.
Contractors, as well as subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and suppliers who have a contract with a general contractor or a subcontractor can file a Washington mechanics lien. Architects, engineers, and surveyors can also file Washington mechanics lien claims.
Under Washington law, prime contractors must provide all lower tier subcontractors and suppliers with a notice requirement containing certain information that is necessary for the filing of a Washington mechanics lien. A prime contractor’s failure to provide such notice will eliminate the notice requirement as a defense and subcontractors and lower tier suppliers will not have to comply with any pre-claim notice requirements. Thus, the prime contractor must disclose, by written notification or posting on the job site itself, key information that affords potential lien claimants the ability to file a Washington mechanics lien. Prime contractors and first tier subcontractors are not required to provide a notice of right to claim lien. Lower tier subcontractors/suppliers and professional service providers must provide a notice of right to claim a lien. On residential projects, the notice of right to claim lien must be provided within 10 days of the first performance of work or delivery of material or equipment. On private or commercial projects, this notice must be delivered within 60 days. Thereafter, the notice of right to claim lien must be recorded within 90 days of the claimant’s last date of work.

Those with direct contractual privity with the owner have 90 days to file a Washington mechanics lien claim; subcontractors have 90 days to do so.

For more information about Washington states mechanics liens, please visit LienItNow