Legislation Updates for Wyoming, Utah & Virginia
There have been mechanic’s lien and bond claim legislation updates for Wyoming, Utah & Virginia. Here’s a quick rundown of the changes.
Changes to Wyoming Payment Bond Requirements
Wyoming HB0052 is effective 7-1-2020 and relates to public works and contracts. The contractor’s performance and payment bond will be required for all general contracts for public projects of more than $150,000.00. For contracts of $150,000.00 or less, another form of guarantee may be required. Additionally, for contracts exceeding $150,000.00, the penal sum of the bond must be not less than 100% of the contract price. The deadline for suit to enforce a claim against a bond has been changed to within one year after the date of final completion of the public work.
Securing Bond Claim Rights in Wyoming
For Wyoming public projects, you should serve a notice upon the prime contractor within 60 days from first furnishing materials or services. The bond claim should be served with 90 days from last furnishing and, currently, suit should be filed within 1 year after the date of first publication of the notice of final payment of the contract. Effective July 1, 2020, suit must be filed within 1 year after the date of final completion.
Utah Mechanic’s Lien Disputes
Utah HB308 extends the number of days a person has to dispute the correctness or validity of a lien by recording a notice of release of lien and substitution of alternate security. The time has been extended to 180 days after the first summons is served in an action to foreclose the lien. Effective 5/11/20.
Securing Mechanic’s Lien Rights in Utah
For Utah private projects, you should file your preliminary notice with the State Construction Registry within 20 days from first furnishing. The mechanic’s lien should be filed within 90 days from the filing of the notice of completion or within 180 days from final completion of the original contract if no notice of completion has been filed. Should you need to enforce your mechanic’s lien, you should file suit within 180 days from the filing of the mechanic’s lien.
- Use of Funds Paid to General Contractor or Subcontractor
Virginia S208, effective 7-1-20, specifies that the use of funds paid to a general contractor or subcontractor and used by such contractor or subcontractor, before paying all amounts due for labor performed or material furnished, gives rise to a civil cause of action for a party who is owed such funds. The bill further specifies that such cause of action does not affect a contractor’s or subcontractor’s right to withhold payment for failure to properly perform labor or furnish materials and that any contractual provision that allows a party to withhold funds due on one contract for alleged claims or damages due on another contract is void as against public policy.
- Liability of Contractor/Subcontractor for Wages of Subcontractor
Virginia SB838, effective 7-1-20, includes a provision under which the general contractor and the subcontractor at any tier are jointly and severally liable to pay any subcontractor’s (at any tier) employees’ wages under a construction contract. This provision is applicable if it can be demonstrated that: the general contractor knew or should have known the subcontractor was not paying his employees all wages due, the value of the project exceeds $500,000.00, and the project is not a single family residential project.
Securing Mechanic’s Lien Rights for Commercial Projects in Virginia
In Virginia, there is no required preliminary notice for private commercial projects. You should file your mechanic’s lien within 90 days from the last day of the last month in which materials or services were furnished, but within 90 days from the project completion or work termination. Suit to enforce the mechanic’s lien should be filed within 6 months from filing the lien or within 60 days from the project completion or work termination, whichever is later.