Everybody wants to be paid on time for the work they’ve done. But sometimes you send the invoice and don’t get that check you’re counting on. So, you send a polite reminder and still don’t get paid.
A valuable legal tool, the mechanic’s lien, can help you get paid.
The mechanic’s lien, sometimes called a contractor’s or construction lien, is a document filed with the County Clerk. It shows that you have a security interest against the property until the owner pays you and you release the lien.
To file an affidavit of lien, you need some critical information, including:
- The amount of the claim; Name and address of the property owner;
- Name and address of the original 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 work.
Why is the legal description of the property important?
You know the street address of the property you worked on, but that’s not the legal description.
It’s easy for street addresses to get confused.
For example, 101 Live Oak Drive and 101 Live Oak Street may exist. One address could be on the northeast and another on the southwest. If a person used only the street address, they could put a lien on the wrong piece of property.
However, the legal description is specific to one specific piece of property.
A mechanic’s lien is a legal document filed with the county clerk where the job site is located. A legal description is the best way to be sure you file a lien on the right property.
How can you find the correct legal property description in Texas?
Metes and bounds may describe a property in rural areas or outside city limits. Most parcels in a city or subdivision will have a simple description. It will refer to one or more lots, the block, the subdivision name, and the county.
For example, assume you need the legal description for an address in Williamson County, Texas. You could use the county tax assessor’s website and enter the street address in the ‘property search’ window or search Williamson County CAD. Just enter the street address, and the legal description will show up. In our example, it says S3350-Cedar Park Ranchettes #4, BLOCK 3, Lot 10. Cedar Park, Texas.
Some county records may be harder to find. If you can’t find the correct legal description of the property, you may use the street address. In addition, Texas Easy Lien offers a property legal description verification service.
Verify the property owner on the tax assessor’s or county clerk’s website.
It will list the legal owner along with the property description. Is this the exact name you have in your records?
If the name on the tax assessor’s list differs from the name the general contractor or project manager gave you, contact them immediately for the correct information.
It’s good practice to get the legal property owner’s name and address and the legal property description before you begin work on a project. If you are the general contractor, you can get it directly from the owner. If you are a subcontractor, the general can pass the information on to you.
So, now you know why having the correct legal description is important, and collecting the information before you start the job is your best bet.
Filing a mechanic’s lien can be difficult and time-consuming, so Texas Easy Lien developed an online system to make it easier.
You provide information, review, and approve the documents from your home or office. No more standing in line or scanning web pages for property descriptions. Instead, visit Texas Easy Lien today.