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Professional Design Lien

Most contractors know of mechanics liens for services, labor and material supplied for the improvement of a real property.  But few know that there is a design lien for licensed architect, licensed landscape architect registered professional engineer licensed a land surveyor who provides services pursuant to a written contract with a landowner for the design, engineering, or planning of a work of improvement. (Civ. Code § 8300-8319)

Professional Design Lien Requirements

Design liens have stricter requirements then mechanics liens.

  • The commencement of the work of improvement for which the design professional provided services.
  • The expiration of 90 days after recording the claim of lien, unless the design professional commences an action to enforce the lien within that time.

• The commencement of the work of improvement for which the design professional provided services.

• The expiration of 90 days after recording the claim of lien, unless the design professional commences an action to enforce the lien within that time.

Time to File a Professional Design Lien

A design professional shall record a claim of lien no later than 90 days after the design professional knows or has reason to know that the work of improvement will not be commenced.

Conversion from Professional Design Lien to Mechanics Lien

A design professional may convert a recorded design professional lien to a mechanics lien if all of the following requirements are met:

• The design professional lien expires pursuant to above criteria

• The design professional lien remains fully or partially unpaid

• Within 30 days of the expiration of the design professional lien pursuant to paragraph (1)of subdivision (b)  of Civ. Code §  8306, the design professional records a mechanics lien for the amount of the unpaid design professional lien.

• The recorded mechanics lien states that it is a converted design professional lien but shall be recorded and enforced as a mechanics lien, except the design professional need not provide a preliminary notice to enforce this mechanics lien. This mechanics lien shall be effective as of the date of recordation of this mechanics lien and shall be given priority pursuant to the provisions of Civ. Code §  8450.

Resources for Construction Contractors

Construction Organizations

San Luis Obispo County Builders Exchange

American Bar Association

Santa Barbara Contractors Association

Remodeler’s & Custom Builders Council of Southern California

Society of American Military Engineers (SAME)

Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS)

Home Builders Association of the Central Coast

Los Angeles County Bar Association

San Luis Obispo County Bar Association

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