Maine’s Double Payment Defense: What Subcontractors Need to Know

By Construction

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

What’s My Defense?  New Hampshire Statute Provides List of Contractor Defenses to Defect Claims

By Construction

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

Contractors’ Right to Notice: New Hampshire’s Residential Construction Statute Requires Homeowners to Provide Notice of Defects Prior to Suing

By Construction

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