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Palos Verdes Estates Real Estate Law Blog

Mechanic's lien: Overview, prevention and remedial action - III

Over the past few weeks, posts on this blog have discussed mechanic's lien in California and how it can be prevented. This third and final post in this series will discuss the course of action for a property owner in the event a mechanic's lien is filed. While the complete set of laws related to mechanic's lien can be found in Sections 8000 to 9556 of the California Civil Code, this post is meant to provide the reader with an overview of the remedial actions for an invalid mechanic's lien in California.

The first step after receiving a notice for mechanic's lien is to check whether that lien is valid or not. Some common reasons behind an invalid lien filing include situations such as when the work has not been completed; when some materials that were required for the work were not actually supplied; and when an eligible stakeholder not file the lien within the time stipulated by law. A detailed checklist to determine the validity of a mechanic's lien is available on the California Contractors State License Board website.

Mechanic's lien: Overview, prevention and remedial action - II

An earlier post on this blog provided an overview of mechanic's lien in California. That post contained the definition of mechanic's lien and provided details of the parties that can be involved and affected by it. While the complete set of laws governing mechanic's lien can be found in California Civil Code Sections 8000 to 9566, this post is meant to guide readers about how to prevent mechanic's lien.

The first step toward preventing a mechanic's lien case is related to choosing the contractor. Determining factors should include a check on whether the primary contractor is licensed; whether the primary contractor hires licensed subcontractors only; and whether the primary contractor has a good reputation for making payments to the subcontractors, laborers and material suppliers.

Mechanic's lien: Overview, prevention and remedial action - I

A unique characteristic of the construction business is that disputes between the parties involved can sometimes arise after the work is completed. One such construction dispute that many people may be aware of is mechanic's lien. It is a dispute that usually begins after the completion of work and it has the potential to bring about significant challenges for both the property owner and the contractor.

Mechanic's lien is a "hold" against one's property that is filed by an unpaid contractor, subcontractor, laborer or materials supplier in the county recorder's office for nonpayment of financial dues. It can also be filed by subcontractors, laborers and material suppliers who have not received their payment from the direct contractor who has already received payment from the property owner. Per California laws, the property owner is the one who is ultimately responsible for making the payment in this situation.

Working with lawyer can save your new business time and money

If you’re about to start a new business, you are probably feeling financial stress and pinching every penny. It takes money to get a business off the ground, and that requires some hard choices about what are considered necessities vs. luxuries.

You might think that working with business law attorney is a luxury – and one that you can’t afford. But working with the right attorney when starting your business can save you both time and money. It may also help you prevent mistakes that could be costly later on.

What happens when a change is needed to a project?

Anyone who has worked in the construction industry for any length of time knows that the original plans can function more as a guideline than a final blueprint. Items that look good on paper but won't work well in reality, property owners who want to make changes after seeing the project moving forward, and other issues often arise that necessitate a change that could delay a project and conflict with the original contract.

If you account for these changes in the construction contract, it could save everyone a great deal of frustration, stress, money and time. In order to accurately address this issue, you first need to understand what change orders are and how they fit into a project.

What can you do when construction isn't constructive?

Regardless of why you hired a contractor, you likely have certain expectations. You probably plan to have the work completed by the date you agreed on, receive the materials you chose and trust that your contractor will perform the work according to manufacturer specifications.

Unfortunately, things do not always go according to plan. Inclement weather could play a factor, as could an empty supplier warehouse. While shoddy workmanship and project delays are always a risk, there are some ways you can protect your interests when you handle a dispute with your contractor.

How should you decide which contractor to hire?

While the beautiful, sunny California weather often lends itself to picnics on the beach and golden tans, sometimes the weather takes a turn for the worst. When it does, you could experience extensive damage to your home.

Storms are often over as quickly as they begin. However, regardless of how short a storm may be, if you consider hiring a contractor to complete necessary repair work on your siding, roof or windows, there are some things you might want to think about before signing a contract.

Don't let landlord-tenant disputes hamper your interests

There are many business owners in Palos Verdes Estates and nearby areas in California who operate their business from rented premises. Such business owners would agree that disputes with the landlord-over rent, breach of fiduciary duty and other issues-are fairly common. Unfortunately, some of these disputes have the potential to severely affect the prospects of the business that operates out of the disputed property. On the other hand, a property owner may also be affected because of the same reasons.

In the event of such disputes, a business or a property owner can retain a lawyer to understand what the implications of a breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty are. The most common dispute over commercial properties arises from the lease agreement and its interpretation by the parties to the contract. Such disputes can often be resolved if both parties sit across the table and discuss their issues and finally reach mutual agreement over the lease agreement. If required, a lawyer can guide the business owner or the property owner through the negotiation session.

What are the steps involved in starting a new business?

California is one of the best places in the world to start a new business. While the tech giants of Silicon Valley are stellar examples, businesses in other industries too have thrived in the Golden State. This startup boom can be attributed to factors such as California's business-friendly laws and the availability of knowledgeable resources, but at the same time, one cannot ignore the fact that California business owners themselves have put in enormous efforts to ensure the growth and sustenance of their businesses.

That being said, people who dream of owning and running their own business successfully should make sure that they are thorough with all their business activities right from Day 1. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a comprehensive guide for that purpose, which breaks down the business setup process into 10 steps, beginning with conducting a market research up to opening a business bank account. The eight intervening steps cover the other critical aspects of a new business setup.

Involving a Lawyer in Purchase & Sale Agreements

Involving-a-Lawyer-in-Purchase-Sale-AgreementsAlmost every purchase and sale agreement will require two separate negotiations: a letter of intent and a detailed purchase and sale agreement. The letter of intent can be made non-binding, but even if this is the case, once it is in writing, it is a key player in the continuing negotiations and formal purchase agreement documentation. A mistake or oversight made during the initial "negotiation" or letter of intent stage can lead to problems later in the process.

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