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A lien is a claim against land that acts as security for the payment of a debt owned by a landowner. The enforcement of lien can involve the selling of the property.


Realty taxes

The Municipal Act, 2001 provides that unpaid realty taxes create a lien.  This is a special type of lien that takes priority over any other type of lien except the Crown’s and the Municipality does not need to register it, it is automatic.

The Act also allows the municipalities to add to the tax lien any amounts not paid for public utility which can include the following:

  • Water;
  • Sewage;
  • Fuel, including natural gas;
  • Energy, excluding electricity;
  • Heating and cooling; and
  • Telephone.

If the taxes remain unpaid on January 1 in the third year following the year in which taxes became due, the Municipal Act, 2001 permit the municipality to sell the property under a tax sale.

Construction Lien

A construction lien is a lien against land that may be claimed by a person who provides labour, services, or materials to a construction project. Every subcontractor has lien rights no matter how far removed they are from the owner in a contract.

The lien attaches to the land and is for a value of the work completed or materials supplied.

The lien must be preserved or registered against the property within 45 days of completion of the work or delivery of the materials.

A lien must further be preserved by way of issuing a statement of claim in the court office within 45 days of the last day on which the lien could have been preserved. In other words 90 days after the work has been completed.