When a person provides labor, material, or services to a residential construction project without a contract with the owner (e.g., subcontractors or suppliers), Maine’s mechanic’s lien law provides a “double payment” defense for the homeowner. Under Maine law, most residential subcontractor and supplier liens can only be enforced to the extent that there is a “balance due” for the labor, materials, and/or services covered by the lien to the person with whom the owner has a contract with (e.g., general contractor). In other words, if a homeowner has paid his or her general contractor for the work that is the basis of the lien, the lien will not be enforceable. The homeowner is protected from having to pay for the subcontractor’s or supplier’s work twice. A subcontractor or supplier lien will only be enforceable to the extent that the homeowner has not paid for the work. Read More
The First Regular Session of the 129th Maine Legislature has adjourned, leaving a number of new laws for us all to understand and comply with. Listed below by topic area are what we believe are some of the most important new laws for our clients and readers to know about. We have provided summaries to highlight the major effects of these new laws, but as always, there are details. Please let us know if you are interested in how these new laws might affect you or your business, institution, or governmental body.
The new laws listed below become effective on September 19, 2019 except as otherwise specified.
Governor Mills signed into law “An Act to Promote Keeping Workers in Maine” (26 M.R.S. §§599-A and 599-B), set to become effective September 19, 2019, placing significant limitations on the use of employee noncompete agreements and prohibiting agreements among employers not to solicit or hire each other’s employees. In passing this legislation, Maine joins its New England neighbors, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in restricting the use and enforceability of noncompete agreements and joins the national trend in striking down so-called “no poaching” agreements. Read More
As we discussed in a prior blog post, New Hampshire’s residential construction statute provides contractors with a statutory right to notice of claimed defects prior to being sued. This statute, however, also provides contractors with another benefit that is often overlooked. It contains an extensive list of things that residential contractors will not be liable for. Specifically, NH RSA 359-G provides that residential contractors are not liable for damages caused by: Read More
Under New Hampshire law, homeowners are generally required to provide notice of any claimed construction defects prior to filing a lawsuit against their residential contractor. The purpose of this law is to “encourage the out-of-court resolution of disputes between homeowners and contractors relative to residential construction defects.” N.H. RSA § 359-G. Assuming the contractor has preserved this right to notice (by including required language in its contract), homeowners must provide at least 60 days’ notice of any claimed defects prior to filing a lawsuit. Read More