Today at Construction Law Musings, we’re back to a discussion of mechanic’s liens.
This past week, the Loudoun County Circuit Court here in Virginia had an opportunity to discuss the interaction between mechanic’s liens, contracts and the law of fixtures. In TWP Enters. v Dressel, the Court considered a provision of a contract between the TWP Enterprises, a supplier of materials to the construction project, and the builder for the defendant. The provision between the supplier and builder essentially stated that until such time as TWP’s materials were paid for in full, TWP kept title to them (check out the case link above for the full text of the provision).
Needless to say, the builder did not pay and TWP filed a mechanic’s lien then sued to enforce that lien. The owners demurred to the complaint and asked the Court to dismiss the claim on several grounds, among them that the contractual provision described above precluded the enforcement of the lien because TWP retained title to the materials despite the fact that they had been incorporated into the structure of the building and were therefore part of the realty.