Construction DollarsGetting paid in the construction industry is harder than almost any other business! But it doesn’t have to be that way when there are such powerful legal resources available to contractors. Arizona mechanics’ lien laws provide protection to parties who supply labor, professional services, materials, machinery, fixtures or tools for the improvement of real property.  The primary purpose of these lien laws are to protect from the dangers of non-payment, those who have provided labor or materials that enhance the value of another’s property.  In a nutshell, each person or company enhancing the value of another’s property, such as a construction contractor, has the ability to place a lien on the property to ensure that they receive payment from the property owner. It is important that contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers understand the process so they can complete all of the necessary steps in order to properly protect themselves and their lien rights. Strict compliance with each step has not always been required by courts and lien statutes are usually liberally construed, however, in some cases strict compliance is absolutely necessary. Generally then, it is unwise to risk your rights through shoddy compliance when it is relatively easy to comply strictly with the law.  Setting up and following best practices in your business will help protect your lien rights and your ability to get paid.

Protected Arizona Projects – In Arizona, mechanics’ and materialmen’s liens only apply to private construction projects, not publicly owned projects like schools or roads.  People and companies supplying labor or materials to a public construction project do not have lien rights, but instead, are typically protected by project specific payment and performance bonds.  There are also limitations involving owner-occupied homes.

Protected Arizona Contractors – Generally speaking, every person who provides labor, professional services, materials, machinery, fixtures or tools in the construction, alteration or repair of a building or other structural improvement is entitled to claim a lien.  However, there are several fact-specific limitations to that general statement:

  • a supplier providing materials to another supplier typically has no lien rights;
  • an Arizona subcontractor to Arizona subcontractor typically has no lien rights;
  • unlicensed contractors have no lien rights if a license was required to do the work performed.

If you are looking for an Arizona construction attorney call 480-344-4035 or email