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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 4, 2013 12:27 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Mechanics Lien Law Amendment
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Mechanics Lien Law in Pennsylvania.

With my legislation, if a contractor performs work on a property that does not adequately meet the building, electrical or other safety code standards of the municipality in which the work is being done, a mechanics lien would not be allowed to be applied to the owner of the property should they withhold payment of the cost or a portion of the cost of the contract.

This issue was brought to my attention by a constituent who terminated his contract with his general contractor due to substandard and sub-code work. After having spent thousands of dollars on his home, he raised code concerns to the City of Philadelphia’s Licenses and Inspection Department. The homeowner was found to be in violation of the City’s building and electrical codes, thus being financially liable for additional costs for repairs. The owner formally requested the original general contractor make good on the substandard work they had performed or subcontracted out in order for final payment on the contract to be made, but the contractor refused and instead filed a Mechanics Lien for the rest of their payment.

I understand the usefulness of the Mechanics Lien Law as a tool for contractors to ensure payment when sufficient services they have rendered have not been sufficiently paid for. However, I believe that those services should be held to the safety standards put in place by the municipal authorities so that homeowners are not put on the hook for rectifying substandard work, nor put in potential physical danger as a result of a contractor not adequately holding up their end of a contract.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important consumer protection.

Introduced as SB877