New Jersey Significantly Amends Construction Lien Law, Effective Immediately


On January 5, 2011, N.J. Governor Chris Christie signed into law significant revisions to the New Jersey Construction Lien Law (CLL),1 which take effect immediately.

The most significant changes are summarized below:

Changes Pertaining to Residential Projects

- "Residential construction" now includes virtually all construction of, or improvements made to, any dwelling, multiunit development or residential unit.

- Lienable residential work includes sitework, infrastructure improvements (on-site and off-site) and a development's common areas/elements.

- Lien claimants: (a) must file a Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien (NUB) within 60 days from when the claimant last performed work or supplied materials; and (b) within 10 days of filing the NUB, the claimant is required to serve a demand for arbitration to determine the validity and amount of any lien claim;

- Within 10 days of receiving the arbitrator's determination, but no later than 120 days from when the claimant last performed work or supplied materials, record the lien claim.

- Wherever possible, the same arbitrator will determine all claims that arise from a given residential project, and both the claimant and owner may request consolidation of all arbitrations arising from the same residential project.

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