Georgia Construction, Bond & Lien Law Blog

Can I File A Lien in Georgia?

Posted in Filing Materialmen's Liens,Materilamen's Liens by Administrator on the February 10th, 2011

I am regularly greeted on the telephone with the question, “Can I file a lien?”  As you know there are numerous types of liens which a person who is owed money may file against the person who owes them money.  But, we are a construction law firm in Georgia which means that we prepare and file a lot of materialmen’s liens on behalf of our clients.  So, although we cannot always tell someone whether or not they can file some other type of lien, we can usually advise them whether or not Georgia’s lien laws allow them to file a materialmen’s lien in their particular matter.  Incidentally, it is interesting to note that such liens in Georgia are referred to as “Mechanics Liens” or “Materialmen’s Liens”, but they are substantially similar to other states’ counterparts such as “Construction Lien”, “Subcontractor Lien” , “Supplier Lien”, “Architect Lien”, “Engineer Lien”, “Surveyor Lien”, “Forester Lien”, etc.

The Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A) Section 44-14-361 states that the following types of people may file materialmen liens in Georgia:

(1)    All mechanics of every sort . . . for work done and material furnished in building, repairing, or improving any real estate of their employers;

(2)    All contractors, all subcontractors and all materialmen furnishing material to subcontractors, and all laborers furnishing labor to subcontractors, materialmen, and persons furnishing material for the improvement of real estate;

(3)    All registered architects furnishing plans, drawings, designs, or other architectural services on or with respect to any real estate;

(4)    All registered foresters performing or furnishing services on or with respect to any real estate;

(5)    All registered land surveyors and registered professional engineers performing or furnishing services on or with respect to any real estate;

(6)    All contractors, all subcontractors and materialmen furnishing material to subcontractors, and all laborers furnishing labor for subcontractors for building factories, furnishing material for factories, or furnishing machinery for factories;

(7)    All machinists and manufacturers of machinery, including corporations engaged in such business, who may furnish or put up any mill or other machinery in any county or who may repair the same;

(8)    All contractors to build railroads; and

(9)    All suppliers furnishing rental tools, appliances, machinery, or equipment for the improvement of real estate.

So, as you can see, Georgia’s lien laws casts a wide net allowing many categories of workers to claim materialmen’s liens on their construction projects if they are not paid.  You probably knew that electricians and plumbers could file liens; now, you know that architects, foresters, surveyors, and many others may also be entitled to claim a lien to help them collect on past due accounts.

Hopefully, you receive payment on all of your projects, but if you are owed money for your services or materials used to improve real estate, then please feel free to contact the Cobb Law Group to help answer your questions about your rights to file a materialmen’s lien.

7 Responses to 'Can I File A Lien in Georgia?'

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  1. Alan Haley said,

    on March 2nd, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Great information!! I am a real estate agent and have a personal closing coming up. The closing attorney told my partner that we needed a paid receipt for a Termite Inspection or the Pest Control company could file a lien for non-payment (we’ve already paid). I’ve never had an attorney mention that and it brought up an interesting question regarding liens. Could the pest control company file a lien for this service and also, can a yard maintence company file a lien for non-payment of grass cutting services?


  2. on March 9th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    […] bonds. How contract bonds work: Contract bonds are separate products from insurance policies and liens and should never be confused with either. The confusion probably arises because surety bonds, like […]

  3. Trenia said,

    on October 14th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    My daughter worked for a sub-contractor (cleans residential and new construction houses), and did not get paid for the 3 days she worked. She called the sub-contractor, which is her employer to find out when she would get paid and the employer told her it would be the following Friday. So she called her today, being it is the day she is suppose to get paid and she said she was not paying her. The employer takes no taxes out, all she has is text messages stating this information. What legal steps would my daughter need to take to get her pay?

  4. Administrator said,

    on October 14th, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you very much for your question; it’s always sad to hear about someone who performed work but was not piad. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for your questions. Threashold questions, for example, include whether your daughter is an employee or a contract employee, whether she might be a lien claimant under the Georgia Materialmen & Mechanics Liens statutes, and whether her claim and the cost and effort is worth the benefit (including the solvency of the employer). We will be happy to discuss your daughter’s particulars if she would like to call us. You might also look at filing a claim in Magistrate Court (Georgia’s version of the People’s Court). Good luck!

  5. on March 1st, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    […] make the real estate where your services, materials or labor was provided liable for the debt)?  Click here for more information on this topic! •    Can you make a payment bond claim (which may make a […]

  6. on March 13th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

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  7. on May 21st, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    […] Not just anyone can file a lien for a past due invoice.  Materialmen’s liens greatly improve a subcontractor’s or supplier’s odds of recovery, however, only certain parties providing certain services are entitled to file a lien for nonpayment.  Generally speaking, prime contractors, specialty trade subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and material suppliers who have provided services, labor or materials which have “improved” real estate are entitled to file a claim of lien.  In addition, Georgia’s statutes allow architects, registered surveyors, engineers, and manufacturers of machines the right to file liens if they are not paid for their services.  Others may also be allowed to file a lien in Georgia, and for more information on the specifics of O.C.G.A. Section 44-14-361, please click here > > […]