Yes, it is possible, provided the contractor complies with all of the legal procedures. There is no dollar limit, in terms of either a minimum or a maximum.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
Yes, as long as the contractor followed the law. There is no dollar limit to file although many contractors will not perfect their lien by filing a lawsuit to foreclose the lien unless the amount is large enough to make it worthwhile. The contractor will argue that there was an oral contract to charge a certain amount. You can wait 90 days to see if the contractor files suit and if he doesn't, you can demand the contractor release it. If he/she refuses you petition the court to release the lien, and the contractor can be liable for your reasonable attorney's fees in getting this done. Of course, a subcontractor or supplier who didn't have a contract with you as the owner must first have served you with a preliminary notice by the proper method of service.
Many of our esteem colleagues have answered this question soundly. Although there is no contract, the question must be asked if the contractor is required to follow Home Improvement Contract requirements of B&P 7159, or Contracts for repair as well. The details are unknown, but oral contracts would obviously violate these provisions and subject the contractor to deem their Mechanic's Lien in valid. One of the requirements under 7159 is to disclose to the owner the right to pursue a Mechanic's lien. Consulting an attorney in Construction/Mechanic's Lien would be important.
Kring & Chung
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