Five Questions for Better Client Selection- Question 3
Posted on Aug. 22, 2012

What interest does your client have in the property your services benefit?

If your professional services benefit real property, you can potentially claim a mechanics’ lien against that property in the event of non-payment. The lien is typically limited, however, to whatever interest your client has in the property. For example, if your client owns the property outright, a lien will attach to that interest and the entire property your services benefit. Conversely, if your client is only leasing the property, a lien will only attach to the lessee’s interest, not the lessor’s more permanent interest. Similarly, a client who only has an option on property or is merely contemplating purchase has a limited interest or no interest, in which case your lien may have little or no value.

Architects and engineers frequently come to me wanting to help them collect on invoices for services past due.  We investigate the potential for a mechanics’ lien, and the lien potential is directly tied to their client’s ownership interest in the project property.  All too often my clients are learning for the first time that the interest is speculative or as a lessee.  In those instances, a mechanics’ lien is really not a viable option and we are left without its powerful leverage.  Knowing that ownership interest prior to contracting would have allowed my clients to negotiate other protection against non-payment.

Construction Law
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About Adam

Attorney Adam T. Mow

Adam is a trusted resource for architects, engineers and other members of the construction industry in litigation, risk management, contract negotiations and mechanics’ liens. Adam is also a licensed architect and a past president of the Utah chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He has been elected by his peers to the Utah Legal Elite since 2009.

Awards and Recognition

AV Rating

Excellence in the Study of Architecture, American Institute of Architects Certificate of Merit, 1999

CALI Award for Excellence in Mediation and Advanced Negotiation, 2003

Community Mediator of the Year, Utah Dispute Resolution, 2007

Graduate of the Last Decade, Ball State University, 2008

Utah Business Magazine, Legal Elite, 2009-Present

Mountain States Rising Stars (Construction Litigation), 2009-Present