Tag Archive for: BC Real Estate Law

Filing a Builders Lien against the owner of a property for lack of payment

The Builders Lien Act (BLA) can be an important tool for those in the construction industry.

One of the main purposes of a builders lien is to ensure that owners are not able to obtain an improvement to their land without paying for work and materials used to create such an improvement. In order to claim a builders lien a person may be a contractor, subcontractor, or worker as defined under s. 1(1) of the BLA; and have performed or provided work, supplied material or both in relation to an improvement. For example, a subcontractor can file a lien to recover monies owed for improvements made on the construction of a new multi-residential building. Section 1(1) of the BLA provides clarification in the form of definitions of contractor, subcontractor and worker. They are as follows:

  • Contractor: A person contracting with or employed directly by an owner to perform or provide work and/or to supply materials in relation to an improvement.
  • Subcontractor: A person engaged by a contractor or another subcontractor to perform or provide work or supply materials in relation to an improvement. Note that the definition does not include a worker or person engaged by an architect, engineer, or material supplier.
  • Worker: A person engaged by an owner, contractor, or subcontractor for wages in any kind of work, whether employed under a contract of service or not, but the definition does not include an architect or engineer, or person engaged by an architect or engineer.

The BLA also defines an owner as:

  • a person who has any legal or equitable interest in the land on which an improvement is made, at whose request and
    • 1. on whose credit or behalf,
    • 2. with whose knowledge or consent, or
    • 3. for whose direct benefit the work is done, or material is supplied. [section 1(1)]

Filing a builders lien can be complicated as there are many important deadlines. Obtain legal advice and direction from a lawyer when considering filing a lien to ensure that the lien is filed correctly and within the permitted time.