Construction liens are a contractor’s leverage for payment, and without a valid lien, you have significantly less security regarding your financial compensation. To make sure the lien you file is valid, you must first find and then learn the lien laws in your state. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in North Carolina and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of North Carolina requires for you to properly file a valid construction lien or bond claim. 

How to File a Valid Lien in North Carolina: 

  • You must file the “Claim of Lien on Real Property” with the clerk of the Superior Court. Notice of the lien that was filed needs to be sent to the Owner, Contractors in Place 2* and below, and to Contractors in Place 1*. 
  • You must file suit to enforce the lien within one hundred and eighty (180) days of the last time work was performed and/or materials supplied. 
  • Place 2* and below Contractors must file a claim of lien upon funds before they can file a claim of lien on real property.
  • You can have a lien on the funds due to the Contractor who hired you, to the extent that they are owed money when they receive your notice of claim of lien upon funds. 
  • This notice must be sent to all people above you in the construction food chain, including the Owner.
  • If the Owner wrongfully pays after your notice of claim on funds has been received, you can file a claim of lien upon real property.

How to Have a Valid Bond Claim in North Carolina: 

  • Bonds are required on public projects of more than $50,000.
  • If you send the Place 1* Contractor a written request for the bond, they must send it to you within seven (7) days for your request. 
  • Place 3* and below Contractors and Material Suppliers must send the Place 1* Contractor a “Notice of Public Subcontract” within seventy-five (75) days of the first time work was performed and/or materials supplied.
  • Place 3* and below Contractors and Material Suppliers must give the Place 1* Contractor notice of their unpaid amounts within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the last time work was performed and/or materials supplied.
  • You must file suit to enforce the lien within one (1) year after the last time work was performed and/or material supplied or one (1) year after final payment to the Place 1* Contractor has been made for the whole project.

If you work in North Carolina, to guarantee you are paid for the projects you do, you must follow the rules listed above when filing your construction liens. Take the time to make sure you fully understand them so you can avoid any confusion in the future. If you want to get your hands on North Carolina’s lien forms, consider purchasing the required materials from us! If you’d like someone else to take care of filing your lien or bond claims, and do it the right way, contact a professional North Carolina lien lawyer who is experienced with construction law. Our sister company, The Cromeens Law Firm, has a lien and collections team ready to take care of it for you. Fortify the future of your company by filing your liens properly from the start. 

*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.