As mentioned in Part I of our Mechanic’s Lien series, the Defense of Payment suggests that a Mechanic’s Lien placed by a contractor or subcontractor is defeated if and when the owner of the project can prove that the cost of the project has been paid in its entirety this is know as Mechanic’s Lien Payment. Until the owner has been notified of the general contractor’s Mechanic’s Lien, the owner can make payments on the balance to the general contractor as they please, which weakens the ability of the subcontractor to place their own lien on the property. Because the subcontractor’s lien is only as strong as the argument of the general contractor on the project owner, the subcontractor is at a disadvantage if they do not file the lien in due course. Mechanic’s Lien Payment can be an effective defense against a Mechanic’s Lien.
For more information regarding filing a Mechanic’s Lien in the District of Columbia Contact Antonoplos & Associates, 202-803-5676.