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Property Owners

Mechanic's Notice and Lien Registry

Property Owners

What is a mechanic's lien?

A mechanic's lien is a lien that may be created by a general contractor or subcontractor that attaches to real property. Persons or companies furnishing labor or materials for the improvement of real property may enforce a lien upon the improved property if they are not paid for their contributions, even if the parties have no direct contractual relationship with the property owner.

In order to have a valid mechanic's lien for residential construction projects, notice must be posted to the Mechanic's Notice and Lien Registry (MNLR) before the balance due is paid to the general contractor or owner-builder. If the person or company has posted its notice or lien to the MNLR, you may be required to pay the person or company even if you have paid the general contractor the full amount due.

The MNLR provides a listing of all persons or companies furnishing labor or materials who have posted a lien or who may post a lien upon the improved property.

How to protect against mechanics' liens

Check the MNLR internet Web site for information concerning the property including persons or companies furnishing labor or materials before paying your general contractor. To view a project record, select "Search" from the MNLR homepage, or the link above. Once in the search screen you may search by a number of fields including the property address or property owner names. A list of search results will allow you to select the appropriate property. Once the appropriate property has been selected a results summary page will provide a complete listing of all the notices that have been posted for the project.

In addition to checking the registry, when making payment to your general contractor it is important to obtain lien waivers from your general contractor and from persons or companies furnishing labor or materials to your property. You can check activity on your property, including whether notices or waivers were filed by selecting the tab at the top of the results summary page, entitled "General Contractors/Subcontractors." This screen will show the names and addresses of persons or businesses who have posted notices or liens. Waivers or releases that have been posted will also be listed.

Please contact the Secretary of State if you have questions about how to find information related to your property. The information on this page applies to residential construction projects in accordance with the requirements of Iowa Code chapter 572.

Liability Statement: The office of the Secretary of State is not responsible for the accuracy of documents filed on this Web site by outside persons except as provided by law. Reliance on the information contained on this site, is solely at your own risk or as otherwise provided by law. The content of this website is not legal advice by the office of the Secretary of State. Seek outside legal counsel for specific legal advice.