Harris County has nearly five million people and there’s plenty of construction happening. Whether you work in Houston, Deer Park, La Porte, Pasadena, West U, or anywhere in Harris County, you’re likely working hard.
If you are an electrician, plumber, carpenter, or other subcontractor or tradesperson, sometimes you don’t get paid on time. Maybe you heard you can file a mechanics lien but you don’t know if you’re eligible or how to file the paperwork.
The process may seem complicated but Texas Easy Lien is here to help.
First, let’s determine if you’re eligible to file a mechanics lien in Harris County.
- Did you provide labor to improve real property in Harris County?
- Or did you supply materials used to improve real property in Harris County?
Examples of improvements include:
- Building a deck for a home.
- Constructing a fence for an apartment complex.
- Painting a building.
- Putting a new roof on a building.
- Supplying lumber to build an addition to a home.
- Are you a design professional who provides services, such as an architect, surveyor, or engineer, on the same type of job?
- Did your business create specially fabricated materials for a job in this county?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you might be eligible to file a mechanics lien.
Let’s look at the required notifications.
- Suppose you had a direct contract with the property owner. In that case, you are not required to send a pre-lien notice before filing the mechanic’s lien affidavit.
- Subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and materials suppliers without a direct contract with the property owner must send a pre-lien notice letter. You must do this before you can file a mechanic’s lien affidavit.
- The dates and deadlines related to lien claims depend on the month and year you completed the job. You must invoice commercial (non-residential) projects no later than the 15th day of the second month after you did the job.
Use the 1st Tier chart for easy reference on filing requirements.
Important: if you are a subcontractor working for another subcontractor, not the general contractor, you have different filing deadlines.
You are a Tier 2 or lower subcontractor and don’t have as long to file your notices and liens. Refer to the second chart, labeled 2nd Tier Lien Requirements.
If your job qualifies and you’ve sent the required documents on time, you are ready to file. You can also visit this page on our website to double-check your status.
Next, you will need this information:
- The amount of the claim;
- Name and address of the property owner;
- Or the person who hired you.
- A description of the work you did or materials you provided; and
- The legal description of the property where you did the job.
- You need a list of the notices you’ve sent and the dates you sent them.
You are ready to fill out the Texas Affidavit of Lien Form. Contact the Harris County clerk’s office to get the required form, or check out Texas Easy Lien online options.
Once you’ve collected the information listed above, follow these steps:
- Fill out the form completely.
- Attach a copy of your contract, if relevant.
- Include copies of your certified mail receipts, showing the dates you sent notices.
- Each county has specific requirements; you must visit the office or county clerk’s website and comply with the exact steps.
- Some documents must be notarized. Don’t skip this step.
- Determine the total amount of fees required and how the county accepts payment.
- You can deliver the documents, e-file if possible, or send the documents via certified or registered mail.
- The last step is to notify the property owner or the contractor at their last known mailing address via certified or registered mail.
Since Harris County is large and the principal office of the County Clerk is downtown, there are ten other locations. Not every office handles all cases. We suggest checking with the main office to determine if you can file at a branch.
Especially in busy Harris County, you may choose to have us provide official online mechanic’s lien documents and services. We can help all contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, sub-subcontractors not getting paid after working on construction projects across Texas.
We can help you make the mechanics lien filing process easier so you can start collecting the money you are owed!