Not everyone can file a mechanics lien in Washington. The Washington statutes provide that "any person furnishing labor, professional services, materials, or equipment for the improvement of real property" can file a mechanics lien, but there are some other qualifying factors to keep in mind. If the Department of Labor & Industries requires you be licensed, you must be licensed to qualify for a lien. Also, if you're required to send preliminary notice (i.e. you did not contract with the property owner), you must send that notice to file a mechanics lien. Finally, you must file your lien on time to be qualified, and in Washington state, that means filing your mechanics lien within 90 days from last furnishing materials or labor to the project.
Mechanics Lien Form Lacks Required Information
The second biggest mistakes folks make when filing a Washington mechanics lien concerns the mechanics lien document itself. The form may look simple, but there are lots of nuances that can negatively impact your mechanics lien rights. The mechanics lien, for example, must identify the property owner, reasonably identify the property being liened and include the first and last date of furnishing materials or labor. Pay particular attention to identification of the property owner and property. This is a very important component of the lien claim, and it's worth doing a bit of property records research to get the title owner and the legal property description.
You Fail To Serve The Mechanics Lien On The Owner
You have 14 days after filing to get a copy of the mechanics lien into the property owner's hands...don't neglect to do this. Serving the property owner with the mechanics lien is a very important step in the process. You should serve the property owner with the lien in person, or by certified mail, with return receipt requested.