Unlike other states, Idaho does not have statutory lien waiver forms. This means that anyone looking to waive their lien rights, or any property owner wanting to get their construction workers to waive such rights, may customize their lien waiver.
While this sounds like a good idea – at least you don’t have to make sure that your Idaho lien waiver forms follow the statutory rules – it can actually cause more problems if you do not fully understand the document that you are signing. In Idaho, you must pay extra attention whenever you are signing a lien waiver.
This guide provides important information on completing and signing an Idaho Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment.
- When do you use an Idaho Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment?
- How to sign an Idaho Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment
- Best practices before signing an Idaho Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment
When do you use an Idaho Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment?
An Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment is used only when the following two situations apply to you:
- You have finished your job on a project.
Since this is a final payment waiver, you should have received your final payment for the project. This means that you are done with all the work and that you are not expecting to receive more payments in the future. Be careful because signing a final payment lien waiver revokes your lien rights over the entire project.
- You have already received your payment.
Since this is also an unconditional lien waiver, you should sign this waiver only when you have verified that the payment has been cleared in the bank. This waiver takes effect the moment you sign it. If a check bounces, for example, and you have already signed an Idaho unconditional lien waiver, there is no gaining your lien rights back.
Note that the Idaho Unconditional Lien Waiver Upon Final Payment is one of the most dangerous lien waivers. If you sign this by mistake, you will end up losing more than just part of your lien rights. You must not use this waiver unless the two scenarios illustrated above apply to you.
If you are not yet done working on a project, consider signing an Idaho Conditional Waiver Upon Progress Payment instead. If possible, always sign a conditional type of lien waiver in Idaho.
How to sign an Idaho Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment
1. Ensure that you are signing the correct Idaho lien waiver
To know that you are being made to sign an Idaho unconditional lien waiver upon final payment, look out for the following details:
- The waiver takes effect “immediately”
Look out for any sign that states when the waiver is deemed effective. An unconditional lien waiver will always lack a conditional statement saying that the waiver will only take effect once payment is made.
- The waiver covers your “final” payment or “all” of your work
Watch out for statements that vaguely describe the coverage of the lien waiver. If it does not have a Through Date that clearly marks what services and payments are covered by the waiver, it is most likely a final payment waiver.
Again, an Idaho unconditional waiver upon final payment must be used only when 1) you already have the money on hand, and 2) the money you received is for your final payment in the project. Unless you are certain that these two conditions apply, prepare or ask for a different type of Idaho lien waiver.
2. Make sure that the lien waiver has all the important information
Idaho does not have statutory lien waiver forms. In general, it may contain the following details:
- The name of the property owner
- The name of the party who hired you
- Your name, address, and signature
- A description of the property location sufficient for identification
- A description of the services you provided
- The amount of payment you received in exchange for signing the lien waiver
Because Idaho does not have rules on what statements may or may not be included in a lien waiver, anyone can write anything and get you to mistakenly sign a waiver over payments you have not yet received. You must read through every Idaho lien waiver before signing them to avoid payment scams.
Best practices before signing an Idaho Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment
1. Never sign an unconditional lien waiver before receiving payment
The best practice is to not sign an unconditional lien waiver in Idaho if you have not received payment. If your client insists that you sign a lien waiver that takes effect immediately, be sure that you have received the payment before signing the document. Also ensure that the payment is on hand. Remember that checks may bounce or card transactions may get rejected. Unless you have the money on hand, never sign an Idaho unconditional lien waiver.
2. Ensure that you are indeed finished with your work on a project
If you sign an unconditional final payment lien waiver in Idaho and your work is still in progress, you waive your lien rights for the entirety of the project, even for the services that are still not finished. This is because a final payment waiver assumes that you have already received your final payment. Note that if you are unsure, always sign an Idaho conditional waiver for progress payment instead.
3. Make sure that you understand everything that is written on an Idaho lien waiver
It goes without saying that you should read anything that you put your signature on, but you should pay closer attention to lien waivers in Idaho. These lien waivers are not regulated and they may contain anything that can get you to mistakenly give up your payment rights. You should pay the same careful attention even when reading your contracts – unfortunately, lien waiver provisions may be buried in your contracts too.