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Alberta's Builders Lien Act exists to protect Anyone who has supplied labour or materials to a worksite in Alberta that improves the land. This includes contractors, subcontractors, labourers, and even the neighbourhood hardware store if they've provided supplies to a project and remain unpaid.
A Lien gives an unpaid lienor the ability to foreclose on the land and sell it in order to get paid. This of course is an extreme result and not typical. Most builders lien situations are resolved long before a foreclosure would be ordered.
Who can issue a builders lien:
Two situations arise when you can issue a lien against a property owner. You have supplied the work to the lands that would constitute an improvement to the lands. This includes contractors, subcontractors, labourers, engineers, etc.
The second situation arises where you have supplied materials to the project and remain unpaid, for example you have provided a lift of lumber, or a garage materials package and the contractor hasn't paid you.
When does a builders lien have to be issued:
Typically you have 45 days to issue a builders lien from the last day work was performed or materials supplied, there are some exceptions to this and include a certificate of substantial completion among others. In the case of an oil and gas well you have 90 days.
These are the two most common questions asked about builders liens but there are many technical and nuanced issues to understand as they relate to enforcement of a builders lien. If you are in the construction industry, and have questions related to builders liens and enforcement John
John and his colleagues at MacMillan Knight LLP are experienced and well poised to provide exceptional information and enforce your liens.