The law group at Prowse Chowne LLP has guided clients through the legal process of Builders’ Liens.
The law group at Prowse Chowne LLP has guided clients through the legal process of Builders’ Liens. The objective of the Builders’ Liens Act is to provide security of payment of materials and equipment between contractors and suppliers.
Builders’ Liens include lien registration, enforcement, and removal.
Lien requirements are quite technical and hence, we take care of all the technicalities on behalf of our clients. A mistake often made is that the lien fund is not enough to make up for all the lien payments. We’ve found that registration of Builders’ lien is not enough and it doesn’t guarantee payment. Yet, a lien can sometimes provide the only security for payment when a debtor, for whatever reason, can’t make a payment.
Entitlement to a Lien
Part of our job is to help clients understand that they are entitled to a lien. Not everyone is entitled to register for a lien. Only a person who has done work or improvement on land, or provided material or equipment to improve the land is entitled to a lien.
Lands that can be Liened
It’s vital for our clients to understand what lands can be ‘liened’. A lien exits only in a relationship with the owner. An owner is a person who has an estate or interest in the land on whose request, expressed or implied, and
(i) on whose credit,
(ii) on whose behalf,
(iii) with whose privity and consent, or
(iv) for whose direct benefit,
work is done on, or material is furnished for an improvement to, the land, and includes all persons claiming under the owner whose rights are acquired after the commencement of the work or the furnishing of the material.
We often represent our clients, get their lien registered and acquire the requisite statements on their behalf.
There are two official places in Alberta where our clients can get their liens registered – The Land Titles Offices in Edmonton and Calgary. There are also various private registry offices in Alberta. Other provinces have specific cities where we also help get liens registered.
Industries such as oil field service companies need to claim mineral liens if work is done or materials are furnished preparatory to, in connection with, or for an abandonment operation in connection with, the recovery of a mineral. Lien is attached to the minerals in the ground and even after they are extracted from it.
Enforcing a Lien
Our lawyers have managed a wide number of lien enforcement cases. The first step to persevering our clients’ lien is to acquire the Statement of Lien. To enforce a lien is to get a court order that declares the requirement is met and the debt is invalid. Enforcing a lien is a substantial churning of the legal process that includes a trial, witness, judge, judgment and a lawyer.
A court order is needed for lien removal. For this, the court will need a receipt of payment or security.
At Prowse Chowne LLP, we ensure our clients are covered under each and every point when it comes to the Builders’ Liens Act. We ensure our clients deal with it in the most cost-effective way by helping them determine the right lien fund amount.