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What Exactly is a Lien?



What Exactly is a Lien

You may have heard the term before, a construction lien. But when you are unfamiliar with this, filing for one can be complicated. Before diving into the process, speak with an experienced Arizona Construction Attorney to help you.

The Basics

Let’s start with the basics. First, what exactly is a construction lien? This is a claim made against a property, usually by a contractor, subcontractor or other professionals who worked on the property, that has yet to receive payment. Just like with most things, the laws surrounding these liens differ from state to state.

Arizona Lien Laws

In Arizona, a 20-day preliminary notice on all liens being filed is mandatory. Under Arizona law, the notice must include the contract’s estimated amount that they are seeking. Most liens filed are protected up to 120 percent of the estimated amount listed. A notice is sent by the contractor or supplier of a construction project to establish the right to file a lien. If the bill is paid after the notice and before the lien is filed, no further action is needed.

When it comes to deadlines, a notice of completion needs to be filed and is a document that is filed after the completion of a construction project to shorten the filing deadline for a lien. This must be signed by all parties involved and needs to be served to all claimants within 15 days of filing. If a notice of completion has been filed, the deadline to pay off the bill is 60 days from the date when the notice of completion was filed. If a notice of completion has not been filed, the deadline is 120 days from the completion of the project as a whole.

In the state of Arizona, to enforce a lien, it must be done within 6 months from the date recorded on the lien. If this is not done, then the lien expires. To initiate enforcement of the lien, a Lis Pendens notice must be recorded within 5 days of filing. This is a document that is recorded with the county recorder that notifies the public of a certain property that is subject to litigation that might affect ownership of the property.

Other Lien Requirements

To file a successful lien, it must be done by a contractor, subcontractor, suppliers of materials, architects, engineers, surveyors and other professionals who provided services to residential or commercial property and didn’t receive payment.

Also, there must always be a valid and working contracting between the two parties involved. Most states require a lien notification and also have other certain laws surrounding construction liens. In Arizona, a written contract that includes full details of the construction project including an estimate must be signed by all parties to file a lien. Also, any suppliers of suppliers to the project are not entitled to filing a lien.

Working with a Construction Attorney

The lien experts at Murphy Cordier PLC can provide you with the legal advice and guidance needed to successfully file a lien. The team can help you with recording, perfecting and enforcing liens. They will be responsible for receiving all documents that go along with a lien like preliminary notice requirements, timetables, stop work notices, and lien foreclosures.

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Work Health & Safety Management Systems and Auditing Guidelines that you should know about




Work Health & Safety Management Systems

The Work Health and Safety Management Systems (WH&SMS) and Auditing Guidelines Edition 5, which were published in 2013 and updated in 2014, are an earlier version of the Work Health & Safety Management (WH&SM) Guidelines Edition 6, released in December of 2019 by the NSW Government as a key element of their Procurement Policy Framework.

They were developed to support NSW Government agencies in establishing a uniform minimum safety standard for construction work, with the aim of improving safety outcomes for all construction industry participants across all NSW government construction and infrastructure projects, whether they are financed by the public or private sector. These guidelines are specific to construction procurement and must be complied with by any construction industry organisation wanting to tender for NSW government construction and infrastructure projects worth $1M or more.

The guidelines are in line with the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) Occupational health and safety standard AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018 (ISO 45001 certification) and should be used, where applicable, in concurrence with Quality and Environmental guidelines when planning and implementing WH&SMS and during the preparation of WH&S Management Plans (WH&SMP).

1-Application Guidelines

Contractors tendering with the NSW Government for construction contracts valued at up to $1M, must be able to demonstrate that they are capable of developing and implementing an acceptable WH&SMP by submitting a WH&SMP draft before work begins. Those tendering for contracts valued at over $1M are subject to the same requirement, however, they must also possess an ISO 45001 certified WH&SMS.

2-Specifying requirements

NSW Government agencies must clearly articulate in their request for tender and tender documentation the specific requirements of their project in terms of WH&SM and the scope of their auditing and monitoring activities. Agencies may also include any additional stipulations in their contract with the contractor and other interested parties.

3-WHS Management System Guidelines

Compliance: Contractors’ WH&SMS must be compliant with ISO 45001 standards and should include procedures aimed at ensuring and maintaining compliance with all applicable State and Federal WH&S regulatory laws. For projects valued at over $1M, WH&SMS must be certified by JAS-ANZ.

Evidence of acceptability: To demonstrate the acceptability of their WH&SMS contractors must produce documented proof confirming its certification by JAS-ANZ. Additional evidence of acceptability is required from contractors who have had WH&S legal actions brought against them (resulting in prosecution) or who have been subject to penalties in the past three years. Corrective action documentation and proof of system modification are both acceptable evidence for demonstrating that system deficiencies were addressed.

Revocation of acceptance: Agencies may, at any time throughout the contract period, revoke the contractor’s acceptance if they deem that their WH&SMS is no longer compliant or due to recurring safety violations. They will however give the contractor a chance to comment on the situation and will give ample consideration to their explanation before making a decision. If they end up withdrawing acceptance, the contractor’s work will be interrupted until all non-conformances are addressed.

before continue you can read about iso 14001 certification for more information.

4-WH&S Management Plan Guidelines

Compliance: The WH&SMP’s role is to detail how key WH&SMS elements, including Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), will be implemented by the contractor throughout the entire project lifecycle. Principal contractors for projects valued at over $1M must also demonstrate how their WH&SMS procedures apply to the additional responsibilities associated with the status of principal contractor.

Contractors and their service providers should work together to identify and document any high-risk work, as well as competency, training, and licence requirements and put in place adequate control measures.

Contractors must also put in place control procedures for the use of products and work practices that do not comply with WH&S requirements and for properly addressing WH&S issues through corrective action and workplace injury management procedures.

Evaluation criteria: As part of the tender evaluation process, contractors’ WH&SM capabilities are assessed against a number of criteria, including:

  • WH&SMS certification status
  • How WH&S was managed in a present or recent comparable project
  • The existence of a present or past prosecution associated with WH&S performance
  • An evaluation of a previous WH&SMP

5-Documents and records

Agencies are required to retain contractor WH&S performance records consisting of WH&SMS and WH&SMP performance reports, WH&SMP review reports, as well as comments made by contractors in response to the results of their review and performance assessments. Contractors are also required to retain and maintain a wide range of records and documents, including:

  • WHSMPs
  • Safe work procedures
  • SWMS, including high risk construction work as defined in the WHS Regulation (2017)
  • Emergency procedures
  • First aid treatment records
  • Incident and illness/injury reports
  • Work permits and training records
  • Hazard identification and risk assessments
  • Audit reports
  • Safety equipment records
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Hazardous chemicals records
  • Plant and equipment records
  • Inspection, testing and servicing records
  • Internal review reports
  • Details of qualifications held by individuals
  • Minutes of workplace WHS meetings and toolbox talks
  • Injury and workers’ compensation management records.
  • WHS design review records

The best way to keep such assets safe is iso 27001 certification and now you can read more about this.

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Is the Law After You?




Law After You

Ever get the feeling when out and about that law enforcement might be looking for you?

Such a feeling can create a fair amount of angst for most people. In fact, it can make life downright nerve-wracking.

With that being the case, you should take the time to find out if in fact there are eyes trained on you.

Use the Internet to Get You Started

In trying to determine if law enforcement might be searching for you, the Internet is a good start.

For example, do you have one or more unpaid traffic tickets? What about a circumstance where you committed a crime and never showed up for your hearing. Those and other instances could mean authorities are searching for you.

If this is the case, doing a warrant search is in your best interests.

That said there are companies online that can help you with getting such information. By giving them your personal info online, you are closer to finding out if you are in danger of an arrest.

Now, stop for a moment and think about how an arrest could complicate your life.

Among the potential problems if you have a criminal record and a possible arrest in the offing:

  1. Work – How embarrassing would it be if you end up with an arrest warrant at your place of business? Not only could co-workers take a different look at you moving forward, but you could even lose your job. Given your need for a job to pay your bills, an arrest at work could make life rather difficult. Moving forward, it could be a challenge to find new work if you in fact end up with a criminal record.
  2. Family – If you are in the process of a divorce, an arrest can make life a challenge. In the event you have children, a court could view your arrest as problematic. This means there is potential for you to not get joint or even full custody of your children moving ahead.
  3. House – If you are trying to rent an apartment or a room, having a criminal record can also make this a challenge. Even if your record is unpaid traffic tickets or not having paid child support, a landlord may not rent to you.
  4. Driving – Last, if you think there is a warrant out for your arrest, it can make you a little nervous when out in public. As such, will that impact your driving abilities? If you are looking over your shoulder when driving, it can lead to the potential for a serious accident. If this happens, your life gets worse.

While you may never have intended to let a traffic ticket or other issue with the law go unattended, you’re now there.

By taking the time to go online and do a warrant search, you will at least know what you could be up against.

So, is it time to research what is going on in your life?

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