New Laws Affecting Lien & Bond Claims on Private Projects
In 2021, the Texas Legislature adopted several changes to Chapter 53, Texas Property Code, relating to lien and bond claims on private projects. The changes impact lien claims by subs and are effective for all contracts under an original contract signed after January 1, 2022. The legislation can be viewed here.
The most significant changes include:
- Clarifications to definitions.
- Elimination of a second-month notice (notice may by sent, but it is not required to perfect lien).
- Repeals separate notice requirements for specialty fabricated materials.
- Standardized forms for Notice of Unpaid Labor and Materials and Notice of Unpaid Retainage.
- Allows for notices to be send by private delivery services such as FedEx as well as by personal delivery or certified mail.
- Deadline to file liens on unpaid retainage moved up toe 15th day of the 3rd month following completion of the project (this eliminates the other three potential early filing deadlines).
- Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and landscapers of any tier are now entitled to file a lien.
- Clarification of Sham Contract provisions including the addition of the definition of "purported original contractor."
- Deadlines falling on a holiday or weekend are moved to the first business day after.
- Deadline to file suit to foreclose on lien changed to 1 year; may be extended to 2 years upon written agreement.
- Increased protection for claimants facing a summary motion to declare lien invalid or unenforceable.
- Eliminates the requirement that lien releases/waivers be notarized.
For more information TCA Members can access a Webinar here.
Remember -- until you are operating under an original contract signed after January 1st, you must continue to follow the former procedures.