With development picking up, this seems like a good time to remind my developer and general contractor friends to take this simple step to help protect yourself if you get into a fuss over mechanic’s liens in Texas.
File an affidavit of commencement within 30 days of starting your project.
This is an easy step that you should have on your construction checklist as a developer or general contractor. This makes things easier for your attorneys if you have a dispute later on with subcontractors or suppliers.
In Texas, most subcontractor’s or supplier’s liens actually go back to when construction first started or materials were first delivered to the site. This applies to all the subs and suppliers on a project, even the ones who don’t do any work until later on.
As an aside, this is one of the reasons that your lender insists on filing the mortgage/deed of trust before anything is delivered to the site. So make sure that the work doesn’t start, materials are not delivered, and your affidavit of commencement doesn’t show a date before your lender files the mortgage/deed of trust.
The affidavit of commencement helps you prove when the work first started or materials were delivered. You only have 30 days from the time that construction started or materials were delivered to file this affidavit. There isn’t a specific form that you have to use; however, there is some basic information from Section 53.124(c) of the property code that you need.
It isn’t fatal to your project if you forgot to file this affidavit, but if you end up with any mechanic’s liens on a project, it can make it a little easier for you and your attorney if you file this affidavit.
And isn’t making life a little easier for your attorney what it’s all about!