Episode 41: Learn Your Liens, Arizona!

with Michael Thal

We’re bringing the heat with another great episode of the Quit Getting Screwed podcast. This week we are covering Arizona liens! Our host, Karalynn Cromeens is joined by award-winning construction attorney, Michael Thal out of Phoenix, Arizona. Being a recipient of the Best Lawyers 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” award, Michael’s experience and knowledge are plentiful. Differences in lien laws from state to state can be a bit much, but Michael does a great job of breaking down the specifics for his state, so let’s dig right in. 

Starting out as a family law attorney, Michael knew there was something more fitting for him, so he found his niche in construction law. As a Phoenix native, he understood that the construction industry was always going to be popular in his area and decided to take his chances at making an impact in the community. Michael explains that because development and construction are so prevalent in Arizona, many firms have a construction law wing even if it is not their specialty. He felt it was important to learn the ins and outs so that he could provide a different kind of service to his clients, and that is how his passion for construction law began. 

Getting into licensing, Michael leans into what the requirements are for his state. A license is required for contractors in the state of Arizona, and there are even scopes of licenses to determine the type of work a contractor is permitted to do. To obtain a license, a contractor must take a test and give his/her experience level, and it can take anywhere from 1 – 2 months to receive. The consequences of not having a license or knowingly hiring contractors who don’t have one can be pretty serious in Arizona, and Michael gives some details on what those consequences can look like.

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In Arizona “any persons who labored or furnished professional services, materials, machinery wears, or tools in the construction, alteration, or repair of any building” can file a lien states Michael. There is a 20-day preliminary notice that is required which Michael gets into later in this episode. He does mention that while there are no real differences in filing liens for residential or commercial projects, there are exceptions that are important to note and could affect your lien rights. Michael also lays out what “powerful weapons” a subcontractor may have when it comes to guaranteeing that they are paid by GCs.

Timelines, waivers, and statutes concerning liens can become complicated matters in any state, but in Arizona, they get even more complex depending on the situation. Because Michael is so familiar with construction law in Arizona, he was able to share some really helpful information surrounding all the protocols a person should consider when preparing to file a lien. While some things may seem standard, there are always twists and turns that are best handled by an attorney. If you are in Arizona and need legal help, visit Michael’s firm Lang & Klain’s website to schedule a consultation. For more from Karalynn, follow The Cromeens Law Firm on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. You can also purchase the book that started it all, Quit Getting Screwed, on Amazon.

Episode Link: https://the-quit-getting-screwed-podcast.castos.com/podcasts/21898/episodes/episode-41-learn-your-liens-arizona-with-michael-thal

This article is intended as a general educational overview of the subject matter and is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of recent jurisprudence, nor a substitute for legal advice for a specific legal matter. If you have a legal issue, consult an attorney.