A South Carolina mechanic’s lien is used to effect payment when a contractor hasn’t been compensated for improvements on a property. Through this document, the contractor claims a security interest on the property equal to the amount that they are owed. Having a lien attached to a property will discourage potential buyers and lenders, thus pressuring the owner to compensate the worker. If the lien isn’t settled, the contractor can enforce the lien and threaten foreclosure on the home.
The mechanic’s lien must be filed with the register of deeds or clerk of court and served on the owner. If the owner cannot be located, a sheriff’s affidavit is required to verify that service could not be completed (§ 29-5-90). Before any lien can be filed, primary contractors must file a notice of project commencement with the clerk of court within fifteen (15) days of beginning work and post a copy on the job site (§ 29-5-23). Furthermore, subcontractors must give notice to the owner regarding the work or materials provided and the compensation owed before a lien can be filed on a property (§ 29-5-40).