Construction Law

Most Common Causes of Construction Liens featured image

Most Common Causes of Construction Liens

A construction lien places a hold on a property so that that property cannot be sold or used for any other purpose until the issue is resolved. Liens have been used for a long time to ensure that construction crews have their concerns addressed before the general contractor or the owner of the property moves on to other projects. Having a lien placed on a property poses a major problem for contractors, leading to potential legal concerns and damaged reputations. When even one misstep could jeopardize your ability to work in the industry, it’s in your best interest to seek counsel from an experienced Nashville mechanics lien law attorney for assistance with the lien process. 


The most common cause of construction liens being placed on a property is nonpayment. Both subcontractors and contractors can place liens on properties for nonpayment. Ultimately, it is the property owner’s responsibility to make sure that everyone overseeing the project fulfills obligations. If this does not happen, they may end up with a construction lien that stops them from using their property.

The best way to avoid nonpayment issues is to periodically review all payments made during the project. You can do this by tracking invoices to make sure that all of them are paid. If there is a dispute over an invoice, it needs to be addressed immediately. Usually, taking action to address payment issues is enough to stop contractors from placing liens on properties.

Related: Factors to Consider Before Stopping Work for Nonpayment

Poor Work

Another common reason why a property might have a lien placed on it is poor work quality. Poor work quality and construction mean that the finished building is a hazard to anyone in or near it. The lien may be placed to force contractors and property owners to ensure that the problems are fixed. The lien cannot be removed unless the problem is fixed, so having liens placed because of work quality can be effective.


Injuries can effectively stop a project in its tracks. They can also result in liens. Injuries are often caused by problems stemming from worksite management and poor work. If someone is injured because of your construction work, you may face legal and financial issues as a result.

The best way to prevent problems with injury-related liens is to prevent injuries wherever possible. Make sure that your construction operations use the best safety measures and stay in compliance with regulations. Doing so can keep you from having to deal with safety violations and related liens. 

Related: Beware of the Indirect Costs Associated with Worksite Injuries 

Excessive Delays

Construction projects have a set schedule because continuing to work past the allotted time can be expensive. Owners and contractors have a set amount of money for projects, so unexpected expenses can lead to funding issues and cut into their profits. If you have excessive delays in a project that cause a lot of extra expenses, then you may end up with a lien on the property. 

If a lien is placed on a property, it has to be addressed. You can avoid liens by being proactive to resolve issues. If you have questions about construction liens, contact a Nashville construction lien lawyer from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.

If you would like to speak with a Nashville construction lien lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.