On January 1, 2021 the bipartisan Georgia lien law amendment goes into effect. This reflects the effective date of Senate Bill 315, which was signed into law by Governor Kemp in August 2020. The amendment to the lien law clarifies that a lien waiver will only waive lien and bond rights – not substantive rights to payment under a construction contract. This change is in response to the 2019 case ALA Construction Services, LLC v. Controlled Access, Inc. which received immediate criticism from the construction industry.
The amendment extends the time to file an affidavit of non-payment from 60 to 90 days and removes some of the formatting requirements for the lien waiver form itself. The amendment only addresses lien waivers, and does not change the timing in which to file a lien.
Contractors at all levels should switch to the new lien waiver forms for all projects in Georgia on January 1, 2021. Please reach out if you have any questions about how this change will impact your Georgia project.