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New Amendments Enacted to Pennsylvania Mechanics Lien Law



August 17, 2009

By: William G. FreyAlfred R. Fuscaldo

In June, 2006, the Pennsylvania General Assembly amended the Mechanics Lien Law of 1963, 49 P.S. §§1101 et seq, to eliminate prepayment (forward looking) mechanics lien waivers on commercial projects, bringing Pennsylvania law on that point in line with most jurisdictions. The 2006 changes limited validity of direct mechanics lien waivers to residential projects where the contract price was less than one million dollars.

On August 11, 2009, the General Assembly enacted the first amendments to the Mechanics Lien Law since making these 2006 changes. The amendments make more specific the residential properties for which lien waivers are still enforceable, eliminating the one million dollar cap, and defining it to include property on which there is or will be constructed a residential building of no more than three stories in height. The 2009 amendments also provide that indirect lien waivers filed by contractors on commercial projects are not binding on subcontractors and suppliers except to the extent the contractor posts a bond guaranteeing payment for labor and materials provided by subcontractors. The 2009 amendments become effective 60 days after they were signed into law by Governor Rendell, which was on August 11,2009.

If you have any questions about these enactments or procedures to enforce mechanics liens in Pennsylvania, please feel free to contact William G. Frey or Alfred R. Fuscaldo.