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Can the employee of a subcontractor file a lien against a property if they have not been paid for work they performed on the

New Orleans, LA |

property? Does it make a difference if the subcontractor has been paid by the general contractor and the sub is not paying their employees?

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Attorney answers 2


If you’re working on a residential project in Louisiana, the Notice of NonPayment must be sent to the property owner at least 10 days before filing a mechanic’s lien. the actual lien must be recorded within 60 days of substantial completion or abandonment of the work.

Your best bet is to notify the general contractor of your not payment, hire a local attorney to make a demand on the General Contractor and give notice of intent to record a lien to both the General and the Property Owner. Given the amount owed, it would not be practical to record a lien and then foreclose on the lien but by making the demand through an attorney, the Owner will withhold further payments to the General Contractor who will likely make sure you receive payment.

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I respectfully disagree with Guy on this. Here are my thoughts:

1) It is absolutely a good idea to file a mechanics lien. In Louisiana, you can recover the cost of your mechanics lien filing before releasing your lien. Accordingly, if you spend money on this, it is something you can request to recover later. The lien will give you a claim directly against the general contractor and the property owner, making it important to them that you get paid. That is key.

Making a general demand to the subcontractor through an attorney is going to be as much, if not much much more, than filing your lien. Further, the demand may be ignored, and you may have to start down a rabbit hole of litigation against the subcontractor only (and not the GC / owner). Get the lien filed, get these other parties involved, and you'll have leverage.

2) You do not need to send any notices in Louisiana. Laborers - as you are - need not send any preliminary or intent notices prior to filing a lien. You can just go forward and file a mechanics lien.

If you are interested in doing this without an attorney, there is a great service based in New Orleans who can file your lien for a flat fee ($295) - all filing, service, etc. fees included. File a Louisiana mechanics lien through them here.

My Mechanics Lien Filing Service at Our number is 866-720-5436. Avvo's terms and conditions apply, answers on Avvo are general responses to hypothetical scenarios presented by questioner.