Can someone put a mechnic’s lien on your property without a contract regarding costs?

UPDATED: Dec 7, 2011

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Can someone put a mechnic’s lien on your property without a contract regarding costs?

My daughter left a vehicle I own at her brother-in-laws home due to mechanical problems. Her brother in law told her he would work on it – never mentioning any fees or given her a verbal or written estimate. He now claims he wants $800 for labor. My daughter supplied all the parts. He has removedall for tires from the vehicle so it can’t be moved. What are my rights as the owner of the vehicle?

Asked on December 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Ordinarily only people with professional licenses can pre-lien property under a written and signed contract by the property owner. Such examples would be licensed contractors and licensed mechanics.

In your situation, if the brother-in-law is not a licensed mechanic and assuming he is, he has no signed contract for repairs for your vehicle, he cannot legally refuse to not return the vehicle for non payment by you.

Your options are to either work out the situation with him informally, take him to small claims court for the value of the vehicle he holds, or consult with an attorney experienced in auto law.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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