The Construction Lien law previously known as the “Mechanics Lien Law” has many moving parts, magic words which must appear in certain statutory forms, and tricky timelines all of which dictate whether a subcontractor can record a lien on your property. Subcontractors who have no direct relationship with the owner but rather are retained by the general contractor, to many people’s amazement, still have lien rights for work performed. The initial shock as to learning of a sub-contractor’s lien rights often arises when the property owner receives a document called “Notice to Owner”. The Notice to Owner is not a “lien.” This statutory form must be timely served by the sub-contractor in order to establish the sub-contractor’s right to lien. This form must be mailed within forty-five days the sub-contractor first furnished services or materials or prior to the general contractor providing the owner with a final affidavit and the owner disburses final payment for the job. If these time periods are strictly complied with by the sub-contractor who remains unpaid, a Claim of Lien can be recorded against the improved real property no later than ninety days after the final amount of substantial work is completed at the property by the sub-contractor. The nuances involving the construction lien law vis a vis a subcontractor’s lien rights are numerous and any single detail can dramatically impact whether a non-payment issue can give rise to a lien from an unknown subcontractor or not.