Who Can File a Lien?
If you supplied labor, material or equipment that were used for the construction of the improvement of private property you may file a lien. If you were acting as a contractor, you must be properly licensed with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (“CCB”) or you do not have lien rights. ORS 701.131.
Do I have to give notice?
Yes. Two separate notices must be given to preserve your lien rights.
Before you start work on a project you should deliver to the owner of the property, either in person or by registered or certified mail, a “notice of right to a lien.” This notice essentially informs the owner that you are supplying labor, material or equipment to their property and will have the right to file a lien if you are not paid. The form can be found at ORS 87.023. You can provide this notice after you have begun work on the property but you can only claim for labor, materials, equipment and services provided to the property eight (8) days before notice is delivered. You do not need to provide this notice if you contract directly with the owner.
If you contract directly with the owner of a “residential structure,” you need to provide an Information Notice To Owner, Consumer Protection Notice, and Notice of Procedure to the owner. ORS 87.093 and ORS 701.330. You can do this personally or by registered or certified mail. You must also have a written contract. ORS 87.037. If you do not have a written contract or if you fail to provide these notices, you will lose your lien rights. If you do not provide these notices you will lose your right to lien and may be fined or suspended by the CCB.
How long do I have to file a lien?
You have 75 days from when you cease to provide labor, equipment or materials or 75 days after completion of construction, whichever is earlier. Going back to the site for repair work or small matters will not extend your time period to file a lien.
What must my claim of lien include?
You must include a statement of demand, the name of the owners of the property, the name of the person who hired you, a description of the property and a proper verification under oath (notary). ORS 87.035(3)-(4). You must record the lien in the county where the project is located. ORS 87.035(2).
What must I do after I file the lien?
You must provide the owner a Notice of Filing Lien Claim within 20 days of recording the lien. ORS 87.039. You must deliver this notice in person or mail by registered or certified mail.
If you intend to foreclose, you must deliver to all owners and mortgagees a Notice of Intent to Foreclose ten (10) days before you file a foreclosure action. ORS 87.057.
What if the owner requests information after receiving these notices?
The owner has a right to request certain information about your lien claim after you provide notice. This information may include a list of materials and supplies and the corresponding charges or the contractual basis for your claim. If the owner makes this request, you have five (5) days to respond. ORS 87.057.
When must I foreclose on the lien?
You must foreclose on a lien 120 days after the date the lien was recorded. ORS 87.055. If you do not file an action within this time frame your lien will expire. If you prevail on your claim and you prove that you supplied the proper notices, you may seek recovery of attorney fees. ORS 87.060(5).
Legal Disclaimer: The information on this page does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as each situation is fact specific and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. The information on this page is solely for the purpose of legal education and is intended to only provide general information about the matters stated therein. The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area of the matters stated therein. No attorney-client relationship is formed without an actual agreement confirmed in writing. I am licensed only in Washington and Oregon.