Claim of Lien Requirements

The West Virginia Code sets forth the requirements for a claim of lien, by providing a simple and quick method of securing a lien for work done and materials furnished. A claim of lien must substantially comply with the forms provided in the statutes.

It has been held that proper notice must be filed with the Clerk, who is required to “record” the notice. The filing of the notice with the Clerk for purposes of recordation has been held to be tantamount to its recordation. While it has been held that “substantial compliance” is sufficient to satisfy the statutes, failure to make advantageous use of the statutory forms of notice may jeopardize the effectiveness of the notice.

The name of the owner of the property must be given if known. Even if the lien holder is not in the privity of contract with the owner, notice of the lien must be served upon the owner of the property.

The notice of lien must also describe the structures, buildings, and improvements with sufficient definiteness that they may be readily identified. It has been held that a description of the improvement and a description of the property upon which the improvements are located are necessary in the lien notice. Failure to describe the nature of the improvement has been determined to be insufficient to perfect the contractor’s right to a lien.

Also, the oath as set forth in the forms has been held to be essential to the creation of the lien. In order to be effectuated, the oath must be in writing as a part of the notice filed for record.