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Mechanics Lien Form and the Deadline to Record

The deadline for recording the mechanics lien form varies

A mechanic's lien form must be recorded no later than 30 days after the recording date of a valid notice of completion (60 days for a general contractor), or 90 days after the date of actual completion if no valid notice of completion is recorded.

If the notice of completion that's recorded is found to be not valid, the 90-day rule applies.

A valid notice of completion

To be valid, a notice of completion must be recorded within 10 days after the actual date of completion.

The notice must state the date of completion.

If the date stated is inaccurate, the notice of completion is still valid if the actual date of completion is within 10 days prior to the date on which the notice of completion is recorded.

For private projects, actual completion has occurred upon any one of the following:

  • Completion of the entire work of improvement (each residential unit is considered to be a separate work of improvement)
  • The occupation or use of a work of improvement by the owner or his agent, accompanied by cessation of labor thereon
  • Acceptance of the work of improvement by the owner
  • After work has begun
  • A cessation of labor for 60 days
  • A cessation of labor for 30 days accompanied by the recording of a valid notice of cessation

For public projects, actual completion has occurred when the public entity accepts the work of improvement.

Thank you to Dave Barnier for the above information. :) Mr. Barnier is a practicing litigation attorney in San Diego CA and can be reached at 619.682.4842.

The information in this article is based upon California law current at the time of writing and is provided for general information, only. The information provided illustrates laws and legal principals in general. Any information or analysis presented in this article is intended solely to educate the reader on general issues. A comprehensive review of facts, documents, and applicable laws is always required before any attorney can competently provide any legal advice regarding any particular situation. In short: Please do not rely on any part of this article when analyzing any specific situation affecting you or your business.

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