Legal Question in Construction Law in Washington

filing a lein

Are there requirements for filing a lein? I've been told that the contractor must first notify you that filing a lein is a possible consequence for non-payment. Is that true?

Asked on 7/13/08, 1:24 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Scott Wolfe Jr. Wolfe Law Group, LLC

Re: filing a lein

Actually, the answer to your question depends on your circumstances.

Under Washington law, there are some circumstances when contractors are required to provide notice to the owner, and other circumstances when notice is not required. Furthermore, when "notice" is required under the WA lien statutes, the law usually requires the notice sent immediately before or after work begins! This in contrast to sending notice simply before filing the lien....

So, how do you know whether notice is or is not required? You have to get a little more familiar with the notice statues in WA.

Generally speaking, if you are hired by the property owner...notice is not required. If you are not hired by the property owner and its a residential project, notice is required.

Here are some resources from our firm's website:

Blog Article - WA Notice Requirements

Blog Article - Protect Your Right To Payment


If you are interested in learning about the WA lien requirements, and filing a WA lien...there are legal document preparation services that can help (and allow you to file a lien without using an attorney, for a fraction of the cost).

One such service is Express Lien.

Check our their blog for more information, as well as the state "lien law charts" on their website. Liens are filed in WA for the flat fee of $295.

Good luck.

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Answered on 7/13/08, 9:55 pm

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