• New Jersey Lien Law Revisions Enacted: Are Your Interests Protected?
  • March 8, 2011 | Author: Justin William Oravetz
  • Law Firm: Archer & Greiner A Professional Corporation - Haddonfield Office
  • Governor Christie recently signed into law revisions to the New Jersey Construction Lien Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:44A-1, et seq.  Some of the key changes in the law are:

    • Specific requirements for "contracts;"
    • Extension of the time period to file a residential lien claim; and
    • Identifying lien rights for work performed on condominiums.

    Under the revised lien law, a contract must be in writing and signed by the party against whom the lien claim is asserted, and must contain the price and description of the work to be performed.  The definition of contract includes change orders or any additional work performed under the contract.  A contractor may not have lien rights if the contract does not meet these requirements.

    The revised lien law also extends the time period to file a residential lien from 90 days to 120 days (liens filed on commercial projects must still be filed within 90 days).  However, a Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien must be filed within 60 days from the last date that work or materials were provided to preserve a contractor's lien rights.

    In addition, the revised lien law specifies the interest to which the lien will attach for work performed on condominium developments.  Depending on who contracts for the work performed, a lien claim may attach to the property of the owner/developer, the property of the unit owner, or may have to be filed against the Condominium Association.

    Failure to adhere to the requirements of the revised law could expose a claimant to harsh penalties including payment of an owner's or contractor's attorneys' fees and costs which are incurred in discharging an improperly filed lien.