Englewood, CO asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Texas

Q: I paid a contractor. He didn't pay a company. Can that company put a lien on my property?

I hired a contractor to do some dirt work on my property. I paid him via checks that all cleared. Now, 5 months later, the dirt company that he bought the dirt from, has sent me a letter saying that he did not pay them the final $1295 that he owed them. They say in their letter that they tried numerous times to contact him for payment, and that he hung up on them on the final call. I have never had any contact with this company. I didn't even know what company the contractor used. They are saying that I need to pay this bill or they will put a lien on my property. Can they do this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The company that provided the dirt for your property may have the right to file a lien against your property if they haven't been paid for the materials supplied. However, whether they can actually do so depends on the laws and regulations in your specific jurisdiction. In some cases, lien laws allow a supplier to place a lien on the property if they weren't paid, even if you as the property owner were not directly involved in the transaction.

It's crucial to carefully review the terms of your agreement with the contractor to understand your obligations and liabilities regarding payments to subcontractors or suppliers. If the contract specifies that you are responsible for ensuring that all parties involved in the project are paid, then the supplier may have grounds to pursue a lien against your property. However, if the contract clearly outlines that the contractor is responsible for paying suppliers, you may have legal recourse against the contractor for failing to fulfill their obligations.

To protect your interests, you should seek legal advice from a qualified attorney who can review the details of your situation and provide guidance on how to proceed. They can help you understand your rights and options for resolving the dispute with the supplier and contractor, potentially negotiating a settlement or defending against a lien if necessary. It's essential to address the issue promptly and ensure that your property rights are protected.

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