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Mechanic’s Liens

The Mechanics’ Lien law provides special protection to contractors, subcontractors, laborers and suppliers who furnish labor or materials to repair, remodel or build your home.

If any of these people are not paid for the services or materials they have provided, your home may be subject to a mechanics’ lien and eventual sale in a legal proceeding to enforce the lien. This result can occur even when the homeowner has made full payment for the work of improvement.

The mechanics’ lien is a right that a state gives to workers and suppliers to record a lien and ensure payment. This lien may be recorded where the property owner has paid the contractor in full and the contractor then fails to pay the subcontractors, suppliers, or laborers. Thus, in the worst case, a homeowner may actually end up paying twice for the same work.

The theory is that the value of the property upon which the labor or materials have been bestowed has been increased by virtue of these efforts and the homeowner who has reaped this benefit is required in return to act as the ultimate guarantor of full payment to the persons responsible for this increase in value. In practice, a homeowner faced with a valid mechanics’ lien may be compelled to pay the lien claimant and then pursue conventional legal remedies against the contractor or subcontractor who initially failed to pay the lien claimant but who himself was paid by the homeowner. Another justification for this result relates to the relative financial strengths of the parties to a work of improvement. The law views the property owner as being in a better situation to absorb the financial setback occasioned by having to pay the amount of a valid mechanics’ lien, as opposed to a laborer or material man who is viewed as being less able to absorb the financial burdens occasioned by not being paid for services or materials provided in connection with a work of improvement.

The best protection against these claims is for the homeowner to employ reputable firms with sufficient experience and capital and/or require completion and payment bonding of the construction work. The issuance of checks payable jointly to the contractor, material men and suppliers is another protective measure, as is the careful disbursement of funds in phases based upon the percentage of completion of the project at a given point in the construction process. The protection offered by mechanics’ lien releases can also be helpful.

Even if a mechanics’ lien is recorded against your property you may be able to resolve the problem without further payment to the lien claimant. This possibility exists where the proper procedure for establishing the lien was not followed. While it is true that persons who have provided labor, services, or materials to a job site may record mechanics’ liens, each is required to strictly adhere to a well-established procedure in order to create a valid mechanics’ lien.

Needless to say, this is one area of the law that is very complex, thus it may be worthwhile to consult an attorney if you become aware that a mechanics’ lien has been recorded against your property. In the event you discover that a lien has been recorded but no effort has been made to enforce the lien, a title company may decide to ignore the lien. However, be prepared to be presented with a positive plan to eliminate the title problems created by this type of lien. This may be accomplished by means of a recorded mechanics’ lien release from the person who created the lien, or other measures acceptable to the title company.

As in all areas of the real estate field, the best advice is to investigate the quality, integrity, and business reputation of the firm with whom you are dealing. Once you are satisfied you are dealing with a reputable company and before you begin your construction project, discuss your concerns about possible mechanics’ lien problems and work out, in advance, a method of ensuring that they will not occur.

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HI My name is Steve Woodhatch from Sydney Australia.I have bought and sold many properties right across Australia. I am writing of my experience with Dan Reedy from MORE Property. I bought 3 properties from Dan Reedy,and had never bought in USA or knew much about Kansas City Mo,till I heard Dan Reedys radio show. After listening and thought this guy knows what he is talking about I dropped him an email,and made the long trip From Australia to Kansas City mo. I also went to about 4 other states and spoke and looked at many properties,but I found Dan to be the most ethical and Knowledgable as regards the many different markets in Kansas city from Properties in the hood right up to the most expensive suburbs.I will be buying more from Dan. And his wife Nancy is very proficient in accounts and the rental side of the buisness which is one of the most important parts of owning Real estate. Kind Regards Steve Woodhatch Sydney,Australia Steve Woodhatch
It is with much pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation regarding Dan Reedy and his agency, MORE KC. As an overseas investor, finding excellent management was crucial for me, and I feel very fortunate to have Dan and his team looking after my properties. He and his wife Nancy offer a complete real estate service, ranging from rehabbing, to carrying our repairs, finding tenants, and managing the tenancies. Dan is an excellent communicator, which is of paramount importance to the overseas investor. Whenever I have cause to email him, he invariably replies on the same day, and more often within the hour. If urgent repairs need to be carried out, Dan always manages to sort things out immediately, and I always receive his friendly email saying ‘all done’ once things are back in order. Nancy runs the rental side of things like clockwork, with rental statements always delivered on time. The Property Ware software used by MORE KC is brilliant, and because Nancy and her team are vigilant about keeping it up-to-date, owners can log in at any time to check on the current state of bills, repairs, payments, leases etc. I have no hesitation in recommending MORE KC to any property investor, and particularly to out-of-state and overseas investors, who can feel confident that their properties are in good hands. Yours sincerely, Diana Masters Diane Masters
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