A job ended badly - not because of our performance. We parted company with the owner owing me a lot of money. I would like to put a mechanics lien on the property (I have done a 20 day preliminary notice) but I did not have workman's compensation! This was not for the sake of trying to get W'sC, the job was almost over by the time I contacted someone who knew how to sign me up - even though I had said that it was urgent and for a while pursued it persistently .
If I place the Mechanics Lien, can it be invalidated because of this?
I'm not sure I agree with the prior answers. For me, the answer would depend on whether or not you have employees. Under the law, the failure to maintain worker's compensation when required (i.e. when you have employees), renders a contractor effectively unlicensed (i.e., in the eyes of the law you are unlicensed even though you have a license). Since you didn't have it during performance of the work, if you had and/or used employees on this job (or any other job for that matter), you were effectively unlicensed. An unlicensed (or effectively unlicensed) contractor is not entitled to any compensation and can be sued for disgorgement of money already paid. If you're effectively or actually unlicensed and are not entitled to compensation, then the lien could be expunged and the homeowner could conceivably recover their attorney's fees and costs if forced to bring a petition to expunge the lien.
No. That is a separate issue. It might be a defense in underlying litigation, but the property owner would probably have to show that failure to provide WC coverage was a breach of the terms of the contract and that it was also the reason why the owner stopped work. You should be careful in what you say when discussing this issue directly with the owner, as you might make an admission harmful to your case or you might even be misquoted. This is when you need legal representation to be sure that the lien was correctly recorded and to file an action to foreclosure on the lien.
I would agree with Richard, generally, 1 thing has nothing to do with the other. I don't think the failure of you having Workers Comp prevents you from filing a lien. However, it can be an issue in many other things. CA, as I understand it, is pretty strict about regulating contractors, so you may have other issues with the failure to have WC.
Understand, in these sorts of situations, there are always 2 sides to the story. If you do file a lien, and assuming the home owner defends, your performance (or lack thereof) will be front and center and although you don't see a problem with your performance now, once it gets diced up in the court room, it can usually be made to look much worse (I started out in construction litigation).
Accord with counsel--but you really should have worker's comp. Excuses are no use if a worker is injured.
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As stated by others, your lien will not be invalidated because of the lack of workers compensation. These are 2 separate insurance. These are 2 separat
Any action which would render your contractor's license invalid or cause for suspension would not prohibit you from recording a lien. The question becomes how are you going to perfect the lien. Without a valid license you would not be able to file a complaint to foreclose on the lien. The license would have needed to be valid throughout the prosecution of the work of improvement.
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