No mechanics lien rights for condo common area.

By Edmund A. Allcock

On December 20, 2011, the Appeals Court ruled in an unpublished decision brought by a contractor against a condominium trust that mechanics liens imposed by contractors are inapplicable in the condominium context and cannot be utilized to attach common areas and/or secure contractor claims for non-payment. The case involves a subcontractor who was not paid by a general contractor hired by the condominium trust to perform work at a condominium. The general contractor went bankrupt towards the end of the project and did not fully pay the subcontractor. With no chance of a recovery in bankruptcy, the subcontractor filed a statutory mechanics lien against the condominium building and then filed a lawsuit to enforce the lien against the condominium trust. The subcontractor also asserted a claim for unjust enrichment against the condominium trust (i.e. that the condominium trust should pay the subcontractor since the condominium trust received the benefit of the work performed on the building.

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