In December of 2018, the Michigan Construction Lien Act  (CLA) was amended to provide protection for certain design professionals. The CLA now provides specific lien rights and procedures for creating and perfecting lien rights for professional services in the event that an owner of a project or a property does not proceed with actual physical construction. Professionals who can take advantage of this CLA amendment are architects, engineers, and surveyors.

Prior to the amendment, design professionals were able to file an enforceable construction lien only if an actual physical improvement of the property had been commenced.  However, there are times when a construction project does not proceed after design services have been provided. This is the situation that the amendment to the CLA addresses.

To preserve lien rights, the design professional must record a “Notice of Professional Services” with the register of deeds in the county in which the project is located after entering into a written contract and no later than 90 days after the last date that services are provided.  The type of notice required varies depending on whether the professional has a direct contract with the owner or if they are a subcontractor. The notice is valid for one (1) year after it is recorded and subsequent notice may be recorded if necessary.

With this CLA amendment, design professionals should consider establishing a standard practice of recording a Notice of Professional Services as soon as an applicable design contract is executed.

Midland Michigan business, real estate, construction and commercial lawyer W. Jay Brown provides experienced representation of businesses and individuals throughout Mid- Michigan. Brown Law PLC – 414 Townsend, Suite 201 – Midland Michigan 48640 – (989) 486-3676 – –

Disclaimer: The foregoing is not intended to be specific legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances nor to establish any attorney-client relationship. Such materials are for informational purposes only. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues or problems.