Legal for contractor to file lien for non-payment

A subcontractor’s move to file a lien on a construction site following a dispute over payment is a legal option in this type of situation, Toronto real estate lawyer Lisa Laredo tells City News.

As the report notes, the subcontractor filed a lien on a Leslie Street construction site, where it was working on the streetcar tracks. Although the TTC isn’t responsible for the lien, the construction company in charge of the project says it hasn’t been paid by the TTC, so it, in turn, will not pay its subcontractor.

The lien also somehow included 100 private properties.

Laredo says the lien is legal.

“It’s just a matter of paperwork and a little bit of time, but if you’re not being paid as a contractor you can put a lien on someone’s property. The person who’s actually contracted you, generally, is how that works. So if I contract you to do work and then I don’t pay you, you can put a lien on my property,” Laredo tells City News.

Laredo also explains that the inclusion of private homes in the lien may not be a tactic, but an administrative error.