If you’re confused about filing your liens properly, we understand. Lien laws change from state to state, and it can be a confusing process to find and understand the right ones for your state. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in New York and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of New York requires for you to properly file a valid construction lien and bond claim.

How to File a Valid Lien in New York: 

  • Contractors must be licensed and authorized to do business in the state of New York to enforce a lien.
  • Liens must be filed within eight (8) months of your last work and/or materials supplied.
  • A lien on a residence must be filed within four (4) months of completion.
  • You must send the Owner and Place 1* Contractor notice of the lien that was filed within thirty (30) days of it being filed. You must also file proof that the notice was sent with the clerk within thirty (35) days of filing the lien.
  • You must file suit to enforce your lien within one (1) year of filing. 

How to Have a Valid Bond Claim in New York: 

  • Place 3* and above Contractors and Material Suppliers can have a lien on funds due to the Place 1* Contractor on public projects.
  • A lien on funds due to the Place 1* Contractor must be filed within with the public entity having the work done thirty (30) days of final completion of the project, but it is only valid to the extent that the Place 1* Contractor is owed money—so the sooner you file it the better.
  • You must send notice of the lien on funds to the Place 1* Contractor as well.
  • You must file suit to enforce your lien on funds due to the Place 1* Contractor within one (1) year of filing the notice with the public entity. 
  • All public projects require a bond.
  • Place 2* Contractors may sue on the bond if they have not been paid within ninety (90) days after their last work and/or materials supplied.
  • Place 3* Contractors and Material Suppliers must give notice of unpaid amounts to the Place 1* Contractor within one hundred and twenty (120) days of last work and/or materials supplied.

If you work in New York, do your due diligence, and make sure you get paid what you are owed by following the laws above. Your financial survival is riding on your ability to collect your pay. If you want to get your hands on New York’s lien forms, consider purchasing the required materials from us! If you’d like someone else to take care of filing your construction lien or bond, and do it the right way, contact an experienced New York 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. You owe it to yourself to do it right, the first time.

*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.