We are a lighting distributor firm in CT that seels to contractors all over the U.S.
We execute unconditional affidavits and waivers of lien for progress payments and final payments.
We always make a photo copy of the lien waiver for our files, but we don't know how long we are supposed to retain the copies. Our files are bulging......
1 Answer from Attorneys
Hello. Mechanics liens (i.e., the type of lien that you are waiving when you sign these affidavits/waivers) in Connecticut lapse after one year, unless the person holding the lien files suit to foreclose it. Also, they must file the lien within 90 days of doing the work.
So, in your case, I would keep the lien waiver for two years, just to be safe. But since you are the lienholder, you would be the one filing the lien and commencing lawsuit, so you would know if it had been litigated.
Mechanics lien waivers (i.e., "unconditional affidavits and waivers") are used to tell the real property owner that you have been paid in full and are not contesting payment or placing a lien on his/her property. They are typically used for the purchase/sale of property, so the buyer knows he has clear title. Without it, your lien would jump in superiority over the mortgage, which would be trouble for the new buyer. The buyer - or his/her attorney - requests it to make sure title is clear, because mechanics liens "run with the land." In other words, mechanics liens follow the property for which the work was done, rather than the owner of the property.
You should be fine. Let me know if you have any other questions.