One of the very best ways to protect your pay is by implementing the proper lien laws for your state. Construction liens are leverage but figuring out exactly what you need to do can be a bit hazy. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in Delaware and need to know the lien and bond claim laws, this is the place for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of Delaware requires for you to properly file a valid lien or bond claim.

Non-Resident Contractor must obtain a license and file a special surety bond with the Delaware Department of Finance. 

How to File a Bond Claim in Delaware

  • Bond claims are only available to Place 2* Contractors.
  • Law says that you have three (3) years after the last work has been performed in order to bring an action on the bond, but that can be shortened to one (1) year by the language in the bond.
  • You need to read the bond to find out who exactly will be able to have claims and when they have to make those claims to be valid.
  • Best advice: get a copy of the bond before you sign the contract or begin working.

How to File a Lien in Delaware

  • Place 3* and above Contractors and/or Material Suppliers have lien rights.
  • The delivery of material to the site creates an irrebuttable presumption that such materials were in fact used in the construction and will be entitled to a lien.
  • If work is done on land only, to have lien rights, there must be a written contract signed by the owner that contains:
  1. Names of the Owner and Contractor;
  2. A legal description of the land to be worked on;
  3. A general description of the work to be done; 
  4. The total contract amount and how payments are to be made; and
  5. When the payment is due.

No Lien Rights for Demolition Work

  • The lien statement is filed with the Prothonotary of the Superior Court of the county where the property is.
  • For Place 1* Contractors, their lien must be filed within one hundred and eighty (180) days of final completion.
  • For Place 2 & 3* Contractors, their lien must be filed with one hundred and twenty (120) days of last work and/or material supplied.
  • The owner paying the Place 1* Contractor is a defense to a lien; therefore, it would be a good idea to file your lien as soon as possible.

If you work in Delaware, it is essential that you put your state’s lien laws into practice to make sure that the construction liens and bond claims you file are valid and enforceable. If you are looking to acquire Delaware’s lien forms, consider purchasing the required materials from us! If you need someone else to take care of filing your lien or bond claim, and do it the right way, contact an experienced Delaware lien lawyer who knows construction law. Our sister company, The Cromeens Law Firm, has a 90% success rate of collections before having to foreclose on a lien, saving you costly legal fees. Build a better business today by implementing a strong lien filing strategy.

*The “places” referenced in the rules above correlate to the Construction Food Chain Chart from Karalynn Cromeens’ book,
Quit Getting Stiffed. The chart can be found here to use when following these lien and bond rules.