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Texas Mechanics' Lien Law (continued)

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(d)  The notice must be sent to the last known business or residence address of the owner or reputed owner or the original contractor, as applicable.

(e)  If a claimant gives notice under this section and or, if the claim relates to a residential construction project, under this section and the claimant is not required to give any other notice as to the retainage.

(f) A claimant has a lien on, and the owner is personally liable to the claimant for, the retained funds under Subchapter E if the claimant:

(1) gives notice in accordance with this section and:

(A) complies with Subchapter E; or

(B) files an affidavit claiming a lien not later than the earliest of:

(i) the date required for filing an affidavit under Section 53.052;

(ii) the 40th day after the date stated in an affidavit of completion as the date of completion of the work under the original contract, if the owner sent the claimant notice of an affidavit of completion in the time and manner required;

(iii) the 40th day after the date of termination or abandonment of the original contract, if the owner sent the claimant a notice of such termination or abandonment in the time and manner required; or

(iv) the 30th day after the date the owner sent to the claimant to the claimant's address provided in the notice for contractual retainage, as required under Subsection (c), a written notice of demand for the claimant to file the affidavit claiming a lien; and

(2) gives the notice of the filed affidavit as required by Section 53.055.

(g) The written demand under Subsection (f)(1)(B)(iv):

(1) must contain the owner's name and address and a description, legally sufficient for identification, of the real property on which the improvement is located;

(2) must state that the claimant must file the lien affidavit not later than the 30th day after the date the demand is sent; and

(3) is effective only for the amount of contractual retainage earned by the claimant as of the day the demand was sent.


Note also that Tex. Prop. Code § 53.103 has been modified to reference an exception for claims as allowed under the new revised § 53.057(f), above.  Section 53.103 is the section that limits an owner’s liability for retainage and trapped funds.  Because the new provisions in §53.057(f) will affect (if not eliminate) the owner’s former thirty day after completion “safe harbor” for release of retainage, owners are cautioned to review the new lien filing deadlines for retainage under § 53.057(f) to determine their safe date for release of retainage. 

Lien Releases

Perhaps the biggest change from the 2011 Legislature is the new Tex. Prop. Code Chapter 53, Subchapter L, which provides mandatory forms for waiver and release of lien and bond claims.  The new sections are set forth below in their entirety.  See additional commentary following the statutory text below.


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