How Long After Completing Work Do I Have to File a Mechanics Lien in Ohio?
Pursuant to Ohio statutes, a contractor, subcontractor, or materialman who has provided labor or materials to a construction project may file a lien against the property for the value of the labor performed or materials supplied by filing a Affidavit of Mechanic's Lien. A lien may not be obtained against property when the party claiming the lien has been paid in full before the property owner has received a copy of the lien claimant's Affidavit of Mechanic's Lien. O.R.C. 1311.01(B).
An Affidavit for a Mechanic's Lien must be filed within sixty days from the last day of work performed by the party claiming the lien, if the project is a one or two family residential dwelling. Otherwise, the lien claimant has seventy-five (75) days to file for a lien. An exception is liens involving oil and gas leases, which may be filed within one hundred and twenty (120) days. O.R.C.1311.06(B).
Typically, the Affidavit would require the contractor to state details of his contract with the property owner.
If a lien is not filed within the designated time frame, any lien actually placed on the property would be unenforceable. In many cases, a property owner may file an affidavit on the land records which states under oath that payment has been made to the contractor in full.
One way for an owner to protect against liens in to file an affidavit of completion. This will start the clock running on the timeline for liens to be filed. An owner may file with the county clerk of the county in which the property is located an affidavit of completion. The affidavit must contain:
(1) the name and address of the owner;
(2) the name and address of the original contractor;
(3) a description, legally sufficient for identification, of the real property on which the improvements are located;
(4) a description of the improvements furnished under the original contract;
(5) a statement that the improvements under the original contract have been completed and the date of completion; and
(6) a conspicuous statement that a claimant may not have a lien on retained funds unless the claimant files the affidavit claiming a lien not later than the 30th day after the date of completion.