Perhaps you own land under construction and the general contractor has failed to make payments subcontractors or material suppliers who have filed liens on your property. Or maybe you hired all trades yourself and one of them is demanding more money than initially quoted and filed a lien on your property.

What do you do?

Firstly, try negotiating with the lien claimant to determine whether you can agree on an amount to pay in order to have them voluntarily discharge the lien. If you don’t have time to negotiate, you may have to immediately discharge any builders’ liens filed against your property.

If a lien is invalid, s. 25 of the Builders Lien Act allows an owner, contractor, subcontractor or lien claimant to apply to the court to have a lien cancelled. This is a process that can be used to get rid of claims of lien that are obviously without merit.

Lastly, consider doing nothing. A lien claimant must start a lawsuit within a year of filing the claim of lien. After a year, the claim of lien will be extinguished.

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