When filing your construction lien, there are different rules you must follow for every state you work in. This can make knowing your lien laws a little complicated, but you need to figure them out to ensure the lien you file is valid. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in Oklahoma and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of Oklahoma requires for you to properly file a valid lien or bond.
How to File a Valid Lien in Oklahoma:
- The three main purposes of liens in Oklahoma:
- A lien prevents any Owner from getting the benefit of someone else’s labor and materials without paying for it.
- Collection of amounts due for supplying labor and/or materials to a property is secured by that property.
- Makes it easier for the Owner to make sure everyone who works on the project is paid.
- The laws are liberally construed in favor of those who supply labor and material to a property.
- You don’t have to have a written contract to have a lien.
- Work must actually be done and/or material must actually be used at the project to have lien or bond rights.
- It does not matter how far you are down on the construction food chain, you can still have lien and bond claim rights.
- You cannot lien a property if a tenant requested the improvements without the Owner’s consent or promise to pay.
- If you are a contractor in Place 2* or below, you need to send a notice before you can file a lien. The notice must be sent no later than seventy-five (75) days after you last supplied labor and/or materials.
- The notice must be in writing and contain the following:
- A statement that it is a pre-lien notice;
- Complete name, address, and phone number of the person making the claim;
- The dates the labor and/or material was provided;
- A description of the labor and/or material provided;
- The name and address of the person who hired you;
- The address and legal description of the property where the labor and/or material was supplied to;
- The amount you are owed; and
- Your signature.
- After you send your pre-lien notice, your lien must be filed within ninety (90) days of the last time you supplied labor and/or materials.
- The lien must contain:
- The amount you are owed;
- A description of the labor and/or materials supplied;
- Your name and address; and
- The legal description of the property.
- If you are in Place 1* in the construction food chain, you don’t need to send a pre-lien notice, but your lien needs to be filed within four (4) months of the last time you provide labor and/or material to the property.
- Liens are good for one (1) year after the date they are filed.
How to Have a Valid Bond Claim in Oklahoma:
- A bond is required for any public project over $50,000.
- A payment bond must be filed with the government agency that is having the work done. Anyone who has supplied labor and/or materials to a public project can file a bond claim.
- Notice of claim must be sent to the General Contractor (Place 1*) and the Surety within ninety (90) days of the last time work was performed and/or materials supplied.
- The notice of claim must include:
- A description of the labor and/or materials you provided;
- The project name and address;
- The amount you are owed;
- The name, address, and phone number of who hired you;
- The date you last provided labor and/or material; and
- Your signature.
- The notice of claim must be sent via certified mail.
- Your bond claim will expire if you don’t file suit to enforce your claim within one (1) year from the last time labor was performed and/or material supplied, not from the date you sent your claim.
If you work in Oklahoma, protect your pay and follow the listed rules above to make sure your lien is valid and enforceable. You deserve to be paid for the work you do. If you would rather have someone else take care of filing your construction lien or bond claims, and do it the right way, contact an experienced Oklahoma 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. Nobody should work for free, so make sure you don’t have to by abiding by your state’s lien laws.
*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.