It is well-established that the primary purpose of Arizona’s mechanics’ lien statutes is to protect laborers and materialmen by insuring payment of their accounts. United Metro Materials, Inc. v. Pena Blanca Properties, L.L.C., 197 Ariz. 479, 484, 4 P.3d 1022, 1027 (App. 2000). But not all laborers and materialmen are protected under the statutes.
With regard to residential work involving “owner-occupants,” for instance, only contractors having a direct contract with the “owner-occupant” have lien rights. This exception, of which subcontractors that perform residential work are hopefully aware, was the subject of the recent Court of Appeals decision in Marco Crane & Rigging Co. v. Masaryk, 236 Ariz. 448, 341 P.3d 490, (App. 2014). Specifically, the court was asked to examine whether “owner-occupant” status was lost because an owner transferred title to her home to her limited liability company after the subcontractor’s lien was recorded and a foreclosure lawsuit filed.