Glossary | What Is A Lien Demand Letter

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What Is A Lien Demand Letter?

A Lien Demand Letter is a great motivator for getting your invoices paid. Also known as a Notice of Intent to Lien, it is a formal demand for payment. The letter puts a debtor on notice of your intent to lien the job site property by a specific date deadline. You can increase your odds of getting paid with a lien demand letter.

In layman terms, it is a demand letter that outlines your intent to lien in the event payment is not received. If you have not been paid for work you’ve done and want to put your customer on notice, send a demand letter.

A Demand Letter is a tool you can use to establish a sense of urgency and set a specific deadline for payment. Demand letters are best used when you first realize you are having difficulty collecting payment or there is a delay in payment from your customer.

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How a Lien Demand Letter Works

Before you send a lien demand letter, be sure you are aware of when your lien deadline expires. In most cases, your demand letter will request payment to be remitted within 14 days of the date of your letter. For example, if you completed work in Alberta, you have 45 days to file a lien. Given that the lien letter specifies a payment period of 14 days, the letter must be sent by day 30. This would ensure that you are still eligible to file a lien 14 days after the notice is sent. However, we do not recommend waiting until day 30 to send your demand letter. This makes your lien filing deadline very tight, which can be stressful in the event you need to file a lien. You can establish your lien filing deadline with our handy date calculator for filing a lien.


Before actually filing a lien, you can send a letter to demand payment and let your customer know that if payment is not received by a specific date, they are on notice you intend to lien. In some cases, the possibility of a lien being filed is enough for your client to release payment. Let your customers know you are serious about receiving payment and are in the habit of taking additional steps to secure your interest in a job site. There are a variety of reasons for sending a lien demand letter:.

  • You have not been paid and putting your customer on notice of a possible lien being placed may motivate your customer to pay now.
  • You are hesitant to file a lien and do not want to seem like the bad guy, so you want to send a demand letter putting them on notice.
  • You simply want to put your client on notice prior to filing the lien to minimize the shock once the lien is filed.

Timing Depends on Lien Expiration

Give plenty of notice to avoid the lien deadline crunch period when sending a lien demand letter. Letters are sent to the property owner and your customer specifying your payment date deadline. This letter helps establish a sense of urgency and puts all parties on notice. In the event that payment is not received by the deadline date, you can move forward with placing any of the following:

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