One of the most challenging aspects of filing a lien is knowing exactly when one must file for the lien to be considered valid. Each state boasts its own unique set of mechanic’s lien deadlines — and, just to add to the confusion, the deadlines often vary based on occupation or industry. This is especially true for Oregon lien deadlines, which require a lien to be filed faster than most other states. Luckily, Northwest Lien’s local team of experts is prepared to translate.
In short, all eligible lienholders must file an Oregon mechanic’s lien within 75 days from the date you last delivered labor or materials. There are different Notice of Right to Lien deadlines, however, depending on the nature of work you did on the project. It’s imperative that you understand when to send notice and how to file a mechanic’s lien in Oregon; Oregon deadlines are some of the shortest in the country, especially for preliminary notices.
Liens (also known as mechanics’ liens or contractor liens) go by many names because they apply in many industries — they’re a useful legal measure designed to protect a variety of product suppliers or service providers. If the work you did was not under contract with the property owner, you must provide the owner notice of your right to lien before filing the lien itself. In Oregon, this notice is most commonly known as a Notice of Right to Lien, but it’s also more simply referred to as a Preliminary Notice or Notice of Intent.
Oregon has different Notice of Right to Lien requirements depending on the nature of the job and the role you played in the work. There are three different roles protected under lien rights: original/general contractors, subcontractors/laborers, or suppliers. Check out the definitions below, as outlined in 2017 ORS 87.005 of Oregon State Law, to determine which roles you played.
The State of Oregon defines a general contractor, or “original contractor,” as “a contractor that has a contractual relationship with the owner.” Simple enough, right?
If you’re a general contractor in Oregon, you do not need to send a Notice of Right to Lien document to the property owner to preserve your right to lien. The contract you have with the property owner should be notice enough.
A subcontractor means “a contractor that has no direct contractual relationship with the owner.” Laborers, who usually don’t contract (or work for someone who doesn’t contract) directly with the property owner, fall into this category as well.
The rules for subcontractors and laborers, in contrast to original/general contractors, are a little less simple. If you are a subcontractor or laborer on a residential job, you must file a Notice of Right to Lien document within the first 8 days on the job. This means those of you working on a residential project (as defined here), who are contracted by someone other than property owners, must be thinking ahead and aware of your lien deadlines in order to maintain your lien rights.
If you are a subcontractor on a commercial job, you only need to provide notice if you have provided physical materials or supplies (see “Suppliers” below).
Determining if you’re considered a “supplier” is pretty straightforward; if you provided any physical materials, goods, or supplies used to improve a property, you’d fall into the “Suppliers/Other” bucket. Suppliers typically do not have a direct contract with the property owner, so this means that suppliers must give notice of right to lien within 8 days of providing labor/materials on both residential and commercial projects.
Time is of the essence, so we’ll reiterate for clarity: no matter what role you played in the process, you must file an Oregon mechanic’s lien within 75 days from the date you last delivered labor or materials.
The difference in deadlines in Oregon have to do with when and if you must provide a Notice of Right to Lien document before filing for a lien. Anyone who contracts directly with the property owner doesn’t have to give notice to maintain their right to lien. For anyone who provided improvements to a property via a contract with someone other than the property owner (or no contract at all), you must give notice of intent to lien within 8 days from first delivering labor or materials.
If you’re still unsure of if you were supposed to file your Oregon preliminary notice, give our team at Northwest Lien a call or fill out the contact form below — we’re happy to help!