By: Gregory L. Shelton
After several years of trying, real estate brokers were given lien rights by the North Carolina General Assembly. House Bill 174 amends Chapter 44A (the mechanic’s lien law) by adding a Part 4 that gives brokers a lien on commercial real estate to secure commissions.
In the past, contractors and suppliers expressed concern over the addition of another class of lien claimants, noting that brokers do not furnish labor or materials for the improvement of property. New section 44A-24.14 addresses this concern by providing that the traditional mechanic’s liens “shall be deemed superior in all respects to any lien asserted” under new Part 4.
To enforce their new lien rights, commercial real estate brokers must comply with the statutory requirements, which include having a written contract; serving notice upon the commercial property owner in the manner set forth in the statute; and filing a lawsuit to enforce the lien within 30 days after service of the notice upon the owner.
The new law becomes effective on October 1, 2011 and applies to written agreements signed by or on behalf of the owner after that date.