Defense of Payment for Mechanic’s Liens in MD
If I, the owner, have paid my contractor fully, does Maryland offer a defense to a mechanic’s lien?
In contrast to Virginia, Maryland takes the opposite approach to a defense of payment. Under Maryland law, an owner cannot use the fact that they have already paid in full once as a defense. An owner could be forced to pay for the same work twice, the first time to the contractor and a second time to the subcontractor under a mechanic’s lien. Keeping track of these payments is of importance if the owner wants to avoid this double payment. The owner must make sure that all the subcontractors are paid by the contractors or else the subcontractor could establish a mechanic’s lien on work that has already been paid for once. A release of lien on final payment of settlement will give the owner a defense against any lien filed by a subcontractor that provided such a release. If a subcontractor provides a lien release, then the owner will not be required to pay again for work they already paid for prior to the release.