HB 2237 simplifies and clarifies parts of the complex Texas lien statute; these revisions benefit general contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors of every tier, and even architects and engineers. HB 2237 is over 35 pages long, so I will focus on the key changes. These changes include:
- The type of property that can be subject to a lien claim is expanded and clarified to include items like parking garages, swimming pools, or other physical items fixed to the land.
- The people / companies entitled to make a lien claim is expanded and clarified to include: Sub-subcontractors of any tier; Landscapers, demolition contractors, and (licensed) architects / engineers, regardless of whether they furnished their labor / material under a written contract.
- In addition to sending lien notices via certified mail, the new statute will allow notice via “traceable, private delivery or mailing service that can confirm proof of receipt,” e.g., FedEx, UPS, or private in-person delivery companies. Delivery via registered mail, however, is no longer allowed.
- Doing away with a trap many lien claimants fall victim to, HB 2237 gives an extension if a lien deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Importantly for sub-subcontractors, HB 2237 repeals the prior, longstanding requirement that sub-subcontractors send an additional notice to the general contractor on the 15th day of the second month after the sub-subcontractor’s labor / material was furnished. Generally speaking, these sub-subcontractors now just need to be sure to send notice to the owner and general contractor by the 15th day of the third month after the month when the labor / material was furnished (in addition to following the other steps required to perfect a lien claim).