For condominium associations, mechanic's liens can be tricky. A mechanic's lien is a security interest that attaches to property to secure payment for the value of work performed or materials furnished in erecting or repairing a building or other structure. The timing and notice requirements of mechanic's liens differ depending on whether the project is considered commercial or residential. Projects within a condominium are unique in that they can be considered either commercial or residential depending on the nature of the work involved.
Construction projects in Ohio legally begin when the owner prepares, records, and conspicuously posts at the job site a Notice of Commencement. The Notice of Commencement essentially announces to the world that a construction project is about to begin and sets forth in one convenient document all information necessary for contractors, subcontractors, material providers, and others to assert their mechanic's lien rights at a later time.
In certain projects, the filing of a Notice of Commencement protects the association by obligating all subcontractors and suppliers to file a Notice of Furnishing describing their involvement in the project. The filing of a Notice of Furnishing protects the association from "hidden" liens, or liens filed by subcontractors or suppliers involved in the project of which the association was not aware.
In most instances, the Notice of Commencement need not be filed if a project involves repairs to the inside of condominium units. However, if your association is engaging in major repairs or renovations to its clubhouse, party room, or other non-residential building, we recommend contacting our office to determine if the filing of a Notice of Commencement is advisable.