Georgia Materialman's Lien Law

A materialman's lien effectively permits the transfer of liability from the person who actually contracted with the materialman for materials to be used in improving real estate to the owner of the improved property, even though that property owner usually will have no relationship with the materialman, contractually or otherwise. Consequently, we have long recognized that the statutes involving materialman's liens must be strictly construed in favor of the property owner and against the materialman. Palmer v. Duncan Wholesale, 262 Ga. 28, 29-30 (413 S.E.2d 437) (1992). Further, the materialman's statute requires strict compliance. Womack Indus. v. B & a Equip. Co., 199 Ga. App. 660, 661 (405 S.E.2d 880) (1991). Before a materialman's lien can be allowed, the lien claimant must show compliance with all conditions of the statute. Kwilecki v. Young, 180 Ga. 602, 604 (180 S.E. 137) (1935); Allied Elec. Contractors v. Kern & Co., 184 Ga. App. 747, 748 (362 S.E.2d 452) (1987). O.C.G.A. 44-14-361.1 (a). Filing the notice of commencement of the action is a prerequisite to the enforceability of the lien, and at the time the lienholder fails to file the notice, the lien becomes unenforceable. Palmer, 262 Ga. at 30-31; Eurostyle v. Jones, 197 Ga. App. 188 (397 S.E.2d 620) (1990).