By Marcus Sanborn, Blevins Sanborn Jezdimir Zack PLC
The Michigan Construction Lien Act, MCL 570.1101, et seq. (the “Act”) permits an unpaid contractor to place a lien on the property and to foreclose if the lien is not satisfied. This drastic remedy is tempered by a series of requirements a contractor must satisfy to perfect a lien. These requirements differ depending on whether the project is residential or commercial in nature. Complicating matters, the definitions of “residential” structures contained in the Act and the Michigan Occupational Code (the “Code”) conflict. This has caused unsuspecting contractors on major commercial projects with even minor residential components unable to file a lien, or even proceed with a contract action for an unpaid balance, unless they were licensed residential builders.
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