Builder's Liens

Filing a Lien

Before you file a builder's lien, there are a few items that you should understand about the process and the costs involved. Builder's Liens are expensive and time consuming.

To file a lien, you must do so within 45 days of completion or substantial completion of services / products provided at the subject property.

For a Builders Lien to remain on title - you will need to hire a lawyer and within 180 days of filing the lien initiate a lawsuit in Court of Queen's Bench. If you fail to do so, the the lien becomes invalid.


If you are served with a Notice to Commence Action, you have 30 days to initiate a lawsuit in Court of Queen's Bench through a lawyer. If you don't file a lawsuit, an application can be made to have the lien discharged and costs awarded against you. These costs can be as high as $4,000. 


The other party may pay the money into Court of  Queen's Bench and have the lien discharged. The money remains with the court until conclusion of the Court of Queen's Bench action which could take up to several years AND CAN GET VERY EXPENSIVE.

The Small Claims Court Alternative

You can hire U-SUE as your agent to initiate court action on your behalf in Small Claims Court immediately!  Once the debtor (Defendant) has been served the claim they have just 20 days to either settle the matter or file a Dispute Note. If neither occurs by the deadline date an application can be made by U-SUE to enter Judgment for the debt amount, interest and costs. Steps can then be taken to proceed with Judgment Enforcement - garnishee bank accounts, wages, receivables or a Bailiff can be hired to locate and seize assets for auction sale.

If the Defendant files a Dispute Note, U-SUE attends with you at all of the court appearances (Mediation, Pretrial Conference and Trial) and manages the action for you.

U-SUE's fee is more efficient as it is a one-time fee based on the claim amount. We do not charge an hourly rate. Click here for more information on our fees.

Call us at 403-216-0036 to find out more.

If the debt is higher than $50,000, can U-SUE still sue for me in Small Claims Court?

Yes U-SUE can but you would have to "abandon" the difference - give up the right to go after any money over the $50,000. 
However, if you are owed $35,000 for work done on one project and another $25,000 owed on another, then it may be possible to initiate two actions at the same time. We would need to discuss it in further detail.

Yes we can still sue. However, if you are served with a "Notice to Commence Action" as indicated above, you would just simply discharge the Builders Lien and proceed with the Small Claims Court action. It's faster and more economical.

However, Small Claims Court does not have the Jurisdiction under the Builder's Lein Act therefore you can't sue the property owner if your contract is with a contractor. You need to consider your chances of collecting once Judgment has been obtained, if you are not suing the property owner.  

If I already filed a Builders Lien, can U-SUE still sue in Small Claims Court?