CONSTRUCTION ISSUES SERIES: 4 MONTHS FOR MECHANIC’S LIENS ON CONDOS & CO-OPS

April 21, 2016

 

A mechanic’s lien is an encumbrance on a debtor’s interest in property for money owed for the improvement of that property.  It is a powerful tool for contractors, trades people, and suppliers to help them collect money owed to them. 

 

To place a mechanic’s lien on real property, the lienor must act within eight months of when the last item of work or material was supplied.  However, if the property in issue is a single family dwelling, then the lienor must act within four months of when the last item of work or material was supplied.

 

But if a lienor has done work on a condominium or co-operative apartment in a multi unit building, the question arises as to whether that apartment falls under the eight month time limit or four month time limit.

 

New York courts have now definitively determined that a condominium or co-operative apartment in a multi unit building is a single family dwelling for purposes of the mechanic’s lien law.  E.g., In re Abbott 14 Misc.3d 983 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County 2007); City of Albany IDA v. Degraff/Moffy Gen. Constr., 164 A.D.3d 20 (3d Dep’t 1990).

 

Accordingly, to timely place a mechanic’s lien on a condominium or co-operative apartment in a multi unit building, a lienor must act within four months of when the last item of work or material was supplied.

 

For more information on this or other legal issues facing business and how to navigate or litigate through them please contact Judith Bachman, Esq. at jlbesq_99@yahoo.com or 845-639-3210.

 

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