I was subcontracted by a service provider for national retailers to assist with the close-out and final repairs of interior finishes in order to return the leased space to the landlord. The service provider is refusing payment in order to be made whole on another unrelated project at another location for another client. I notified the landlord of my intent to file a mechanics lien and he immediately threatened to sue me if I did, claiming he did not have an agreement with me to do the work. All documentation including signed work orders and invoice dates are on record and are within the ninety-day period required in Maine.
Can you file a mechanic's lien? Yes, based on what you have said, with the cautions below.
Can the property owner sue you? Well, almost anybody can sue almost anybody for almost anything but that doesn't mean that they are likely to win. Based solely on your very brief (and, no offense, probably one-sided) description the property-owner would lose on that counterclaim.
Maine's rules on mechanic's liens are strict. As a subcontractor you must record a lien under oath in the registry with notice to the landowner and GC within 90 days of the work -- generally, but not always, within 90 days of your last day onsite. EVEN IF YOU DO, your lien STILL evaporates unless you file a not-small-claim for-real lawsuit within 120 days of the work (generally but not always, 120 days of the last day onsite).
There are a million ways to do this work almost correctly and thus totally blow it. Go to a lawyer who represents contractors NOW. Don't wait.
All good luck to you. I hope that this helps.
I represent lenders and landlords, and do not represent consumer borrowers or tenants. Although I try to answer your questions from a neutral perspective, there may be other approaches or nuances from the perspective of a debtor or tenant lawyer which might yield a different result. More importantly: I am answering questions as a courtesy and in the abstract. This format does not provide the details necessary for reasoned legal advice and my responses are not intended to provide reasoned legal advice to the person who asked the question. No attorney-client relationship is established by this online exchange. Despite all that, I hope that my answers are some help.
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