Nevada residents are likely familiar with the concept of a “lien.” Most individuals who have bought a new automobile, for example, have first-hand experience with lien holders, as the bank from which the person borrowed money to pay for the vehicle has a lien against that vehicle, which is often recorded on the title itself. Other creditors can also place liens on property, including a specialized one known as a “mechanic’s lien.”

The purpose of mechanics’ liens is to prevent property owners from having improvements or enhancements done to their property, and then refusing to pay for said improvements or enhancements. This policy is meant to give those individuals who perform such services a way to encourage payment for the valuable work they have provided. Basically, the idea is that if a contractor or other individual has made contributions to a property of more than $500 in value, that person may be entitled to a lien on some part of the property if payment for those services is not made.

Nevada law if fairly expansive when it comes to who can qualify for a mechanic’s lien, as even architects and designers may have such a lien if their ideas were incorporated into an actual structure. However, there are also some very strict time and notice requirements, and since mechanic’s liens are a privilege and not a right, failing to follow those requirements can lead to loss of the lien.

While mechanic’s liens are meant to ensure that people who provide valuable work receive their just due, they should not be abused. That is, such liens should not be used to hold a property “hostage” in order to extract payments that were not agreed upon or for work that was not done. Those Nevada residents who feel they deserve to be paid for work done, or wish to clear an unfair mechanic’s lien, may need to get more information about real estate law.