The Art of the Contractor Lien Waiver (free download)

Contractor Lien Waiver

Contractor Lien WaiverAh, the contractor lien waiver… Unassuming… Underrated… Undeniably essential…

So recently I was chatting with my bud Brian about one of his deals…

(You may remember brian from my “Pink Bath, Buyers Out the Wazoo” case study a while back – he’s a short saler, rehabber and darn fine transactional lender.)

…and he was sharing with me about his own personal policy with contractors and the contractor lien waiver.

Brian’s deal is, once the work is done, his contractors don’t get their check until they first hand him a signed contractor lien waiver, which protects him (should things go cross-ways in the future) from them slapping an unwarranted mechanic’s lien on his property.

Admittedly I’m embarrassed to say it, but I have never done this.  I admit it, I’ve been too lazy.

Brian reminded me that, in the same way someone doesn’t necessarily need a viable case against you to bring all hell upon you with a frivolous lawsuit, likewise an unscrupulous contractor could easily bring you a world of hurt with an unwarranted mechanics lien.

Truth be told, I didn’t even have a contractor lien waiver in my forms folder.  I also had a few personal questions about how Brian deploys use of the contractor lien waiver in different situations, so I asked him if he’d kindly hop on video chat with me and let me record a quick Q&A with him about it – plus walk me (us) through exactly how he fills it out.

Happily he obliged, so here we go…

Contractor Lien Waiver – How to Fill Out and Use

contractor lien waiver

Contractor Lien Waiver – Free Form Download

Brian his graciously allowing his contractor lien waiver to be added your own personal forms arsenal. You can download it here.  I’ve also recently added it to my zip file of free forms.

Bottom line, a contractor lien waiver should be standard issue for every real estate investor’s forms folder, and your standard operating procedure whenever dealing with contractors. Use it.

Oh and By the Way…

I’d be remiss in now sharing that Brian offers a killer deal on transactional (one-day) deal funding also.  In all 50 states.  I wholeheartedly recommend him and regularly send folks his way.  You can find him at 


JP Moses is a roughly-hewn man-child who first got into REI after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad back in Y2K and went full time in 2002. He's tinkered in everything from landlording to short sales to rehabs to Realtoring to REOs to notes to owner financing, blah, blah, blah...Till he finally stuck his flag deep into wholesaling and has since flipped somewhere north of a couple hundred deals.

JP's not a “guru” but also doesn't think it's a bad word. Among his core values are authenticity, creativity, big honkin' value, general fun-ness and being unshaven. He's super proud to be chief blogger guy at and host of the free REIology podcast. He also thoroughly enjoys sharing his 53 best real estate investing forms with anyone who wants them. You should totally check that out. 🙂

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johnzaci Reply

 That is very nice post!!! i found it very helpful and will try to visit there again and again!!!!

Ireland Gourmet Food Tour Reply

Thank you for adding forms to download and for the valuable information given. I became a big fan of your site now because of the great post published here.

Daniel Reply

I see a few problems with this:

Why would a contractor with a half of brain sign this?  

1)  What happens if he does additional work for you at a later date on the same property and you don’t pay?   The form is in a way that would prevent him from any recourse!

2) Chicken egg situation!  Does he cash his last check first or do you get the waiver first?  If he gets the check and signs, what recourse does he have?  If he cashes and then you ask for a waiver, he could say screw you I never got paid!

The point is, if you are dealing with a reputable contractor, you won’t need this, and in fact, a reputable contractor will refuse to sign it as he would be shooting himself in the foot if something DOES go wrong. Also, I think if I were to pull one of these out before the last pay check for a reputable contractor to sign, he would probably think twice about that check you just handed him!

JP Moses Reply

Hi, Daniel. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your perspective, but respectfully disagree.

First off, you said, “The point is, if you are dealing with a reputable contractor, you won’t need this.” But you don’t know if he’s reputable at first, do you? What is “reputable” really? There are lots of bad seeds out there who have customers they haven’t screwed yet who will speak well of them, and just as many who would caution against them.

My point is, you only know what you know. And a “reputable” contractor is purely subjective.

Also, how do you know a reputable contractor won’t sign it? Perhaps you’re a contractor and you wouldn’t sign it. Fair enough. That would be your choice. But Brian seems to have no problem with getting it signed. And many other investors I know also have no problem with it. All using quality contractors.

As for any risk for the contractor doing additional work later on the house, well, if they have had a positive relationship previously, then I suppose he could make a decision when faced with the new work, about whether or not he feels comfortable doing that. But that’s just a future possibility.

The biggest thing is, no one’s trying to screw contractor’s here. From our (the investor) perspective, we want to ensure an unscrupulous contractor won’t throw a wrench into our sale by slapping an unwarranted contractor’s lien in place after being properly paid for the work done. And I’m sure you can appreciate how easily this could happen – and yes, it does happen.

So that’s my response. To your response. I appreciate your view though. Thanks again for taking the time to post a comment. Cheers!

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