Labor Lien Law & Legal Definition


Labor Lien is a type of lien that gives laborers a security interest in property until they have been paid for their work on that property. It is the right to retain the lawful possession of the property of another until the owner fulfills a legal duty to the person holding the property, such as the payment of lawful charges for labor done on the property. The type of lien depends on whether you supplied labor or materials.

People who do the actual labor, like, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, and roofers have labor liens over the property. People who supply material like lumber, shingles, and plumbing supplies, can put material man’s liens on the property. It is similar to a mechanic's lien.

Generally, the right of lien arises by operation of law, but in some cases it is created by express contract. Laws regarding liens are governed by the states, so the procedure for creating liens varies from state to state. The laws will be enforced by the county in which the property is located.

Generally, a notice in accordance with the statute must be given to the property owner that you intend to file the lien. If the property owner does not pay the amount owed, then the laborer may file the lien by filling out the papers required in the county where the property is located. It should be filed within the stipulated time frame.

The owner must resolve the labor lien before the property can change hands if a labor lien is successfully made against a property. The lien holder can bring a legal action to collect it, if it is not paid. The court can compel the sale of the property to pay the labor lien.