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Washington Mechanics Liens

Subcontractors providing labor, materials, or equipment to a privately-owned project have lien rights in Washington. RCW 60.04.021

Although a subcontractor is afforded lien rights, those lien rights must be exercised by following proper procedures and meeting various deadlines. RCW 60.04.141.

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Washington Bond Claims

A bond is a written commitment by a bonding company (surety) to guarantee the performance of a contractor.

Bonds which guarantee payment to subcontractors are “payment bonds.” Bonds which assure the owner that the contractor will complete the work in accordance with the contract documents are “performance bonds.”

In private contracting, the State requires that a licensed general contractor obtain a bond in a minimal amount of $12,000 regardless of the size of job. RCW 18.27.040.

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Washington Retainage Claims

By statute, public owners of projects are allowed to withhold up to five percent (5%) of the contractor's earnings to be held in trust for the payment of state and local tax obligations and the potential claims of unpaid subcontractors, suppliers, and other providing services to the public works project. RCW 60.28.011(1)(a).

In lieu of having a portion of its earnings withheld, a prime contractor may post a bond benefiting the public owner. RCW 60.28.011(6).

The procedures for filing a retainage claim, and the content of the notice of claim on retainage are similar to that of public works bonds. RCW 60.28.011(2). However, the deadlines for retainage are different from that of claims on public works bonds.

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