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Construction Law 101: Explaining Builders Liens


Construction executives looking over construction plans holding on to work helmets.

Are you in the construction business in BC?


If so, it's important to understand as much about construction laws as possible. This includes the types of liens that can impact your business.


Builder’s liens are an essential aspect of construction law in British Columbia, Canada. A builders' lien, also known as a construction lien, is a legal claim against a property that arises from unpaid work, services, or materials provided by a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier.


Here we provide an overview of builders’ liens in BC, including their purpose, requirements, and enforcement. Keep reading to learn why you need Kelowna’s Heritage Law Group on your side.


Purpose of Builders Liens


The purpose of a builder's lien is to protect the interests of contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers who have provided services or materials for a construction project. These parties are entitled to be paid for their work, and a builder's lien gives them a legal means to ensure payment.


A builder's lien can be filed against title to the property where the construction work took place. It creates a charge against title to the property, which means that the owner cannot sell or refinance the property until the lien is paid or the funds are put up as security either into a lawyer’s trust account or paid into court.


This ensures that the party who filed the lien secures the amount owing by filing the against title.


Requirements for Filing a Builder's Lien


To file a builder’s lien in BC, certain requirements must be met. These include:


1. Timeliness

A builder's lien must be filed within 45 days from the time the scope of work was substantially complete or 45 days from the time the contract was terminated or abandoned If the lien is not filed within this time frame, the lien claimant may lose their right to file and enforce a lien.


Notice is not a requirement – where did this information come from???


2. Accuracy of Information

The information included in a builder’s liens must be accurate and complete. This includes the legal description of the property, the name of the person or company that engaged the worker, the amount owed and a general description of the services or material provided.


3. Enforcement of Builder's Liens

If a builder's lien is filed and the claimant is not paid, they may take legal action to enforce the lien. If the lien amount is not paid within 1 year from the date of filing it, the lien will become unenforceable. A British Columbia Supreme Court law suit must be filed within 1 year of filing the lien to protect its enforceability.


Alternatively, the parties involved in the construction project may attempt to resolve the dispute through negotiation or mediation. This can often be a faster and less expensive way to resolve the issue.


Keep in mind that a good lawyer can guide you through the process.


A Guide to Construction Liens for Builders


The construction industry can create many types of legal problems. That's why you need to stay informed about builder’s lien options and other aspects of construction law.


If you need quality legal counsel to deal with construction liens in BC, it's important to find the most experienced law firm possible, like the construction law experts at The Heritage Law Group.


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