Can I File a Mechanic’s Lien in Houston?

Most people in the construction business have heard of a mechanics lien.

They may know filing a lien can protect their right to be paid, but they don’t know if the state law covers their work.

The problem is understandable because the Texas State Statute, Mechanic’s, Contractor’s, or Materialman’s Lien, is confusing. It’s easy to read the law and be baffled by the legal language.

Let’s look at a few of the terms in the law.

The contract price means:

  1. the cost to the owner; 
  2. for any part of construction;
  3. or repair performed;
  4. under an original contract.

Improvement means:

  • a house;
  • building;
  • structure;
  • parking structure; or
  • physical appurtenance.

What’s an appurtenance? Good question! In the construction business, the word means an improvement to a real estate property or land, such as the construction of fences, swimming pool, and furnace will become an appurtenance to the property.

If you work on these jobs, you may also be eligible to file a Houston mechanic’s lien. These include:

  • pools;
  • utilities;
  • railroads;
  • wells;
  • storage facilities;
  • abutting sidewalks and streets;
  • utilities in or on those sidewalks and streets;
  • land reclaimed from overflow; or
  • other fixtures or modifications to real property.

The law also states it includes these projects:

  • clearing, grubbing, draining, or fencing of land;
  • machinery or apparatuses used for raising water or for supplying or storing water for stock, domestic use, or irrigation;
  • a design, drawing, plan, plat, survey, or specification provided by a licensed architect, engineer, or surveyor; or other
  • work described in Section 53.021 (4).

Who may file a mechanic’s lien in Texas?

Sec. 53.021 describes which people working on a construction job may file a mechanic lien. This section states a person may file a lien if:

  • the person, under a contract with the owner or the owner’s agent, trustee, receiver, contractor, or subcontractor:
  •  labors or furnishes labor or materials for construction or repair of an improvement;
  •  specially fabricates material, even if the material is not delivered.

For example, custom-made cabinets or granite countertops cut for a specific house are specially fabricated materials.

Did you provide design work? Landscaping? You, too, might be able to file a Houston mechanic’s lien.

Some people don’t realize that these construction trade specialties may also be eligible.

  • Are you a licensed architect, engineer, or surveyor providing services to prepare a design, drawing, plan, plat, survey, or specification?
  • Did you provide labor, plant material, or other supplies to install landscaping for an improvement?
  • Did you construct a retention pond;
  • a retaining wall, berm;
  • irrigation system;
  • fountain, or other similar installation?
  • Have you performed labor or provided labor or materials for demolishing an improvement on real property?

Are you included in any of these categories?

If an owner or contractor has not paid for work you’ve done, materials and supplies, or equipment rental, and the job site is in Harris County there’s a good chance you’re protected by this law.

Yes, the laws can be confusing, and filing takes time from your busy schedule. That’s the reason Texas Easy Liens created an easy online process.

Gather some information, fill out the forms, and we take care of the rest. Protect your rights and take steps to recover your payments.  Visit the website, answer a few questions, and find out if your job qualifies.

Get your mechanic’s lien documents in just 15 minutes