Builders’ Liens, Construction Liens, and Oil and Gas Liens in Edmonton

If you’re a contractor, supplier, construction company, or oil and gas firm, odds are at least once in your career you’re going to be stuck in the unfortunate circumstance of being unpaid after the work is done. Which means that, no matter what sector of the development or resource extraction industry you work in, you’re going to need to learn about the various tools at your disposal to make sure you get paid on time and before the owner or interest holder can profit off the work you’ve done.

What’s the Difference Between a Builders’ Lien, a Construction Lien, and Oil and Gas Liens?

Let’s get one thing out of the way: though they’re often used by the construction industry, a construction lien isn’t the term we use in Alberta, legally speaking. What is covered under the Builders’ Lien Act for the province is very similar to what is called a Construction Lien in other provinces (such as Ontario). So, while you may be seeking a lien for a large-scale construction project that hasn’t been paid for, it’s actually a builders’ lien you’ll be applying for.

Why would you file a builders’ lien? In any instance where a given development project has been either completed or abandoned and payment hasn’t yet been made. You must file a builders’ lien within 45 days of the project ‘nearing completion’ in order to successfully compel the developer to pay you for goods and services owed.

Oil and gas liens are slightly different. While they are also covered under the Builders’ Lien Act, they differ in procedure. Considering the government owns the vast majority of mineral and resource rights in the country, you will usually be filing your lien against the Minister of Energy, rather than the private entity that did the development.

Oil and gas liens allow you to file a lien against the mineral rights of a given site if you contributed even something as ‘small’ as materials to it. Considering the vast amount of cash such an injunction represents, an oil and gas lien will get you paid, and quickly.

How Do I File a Builders’ Lien Or an Oil and Gas Lien?

Filing a lien is a complicated process. The Builders’ Lien Act that covers this procedure is available to the public but is over 50 pages of complex legal terminology.

If you’re thinking about whether or not you need to hire a litigation lawyer to help with your builders’ lien or oil and gas lien claim, the answer is simple: you do. The amount of time and energy it requires to learn this material by yourself and to file the lien correctly under the necessary 45-day limit would be immense.

Instead, trust Verhaeghe Law Office. We’ve helped dozens of clients across Greater Edmonton secure the payment they deserve for their hard work. And with a thorough knowledge of Alberta’s law, we can do the same for you. Call us today to learn more!