South Carolina Lien Law for Landscapers

Liens for Landscapers in South Carolina 

The South Carolina legislature made several changes to its mechanics lien statute this summer. Among the changes is the addition of § 29-5-26 to the South Carolina Code.

Per §29-5-26, some individuals who provide landscaping services may now file to perfect mechanics liens to secure payment. Under the new law, “a person who:

provides a landscape service on a parcel of real estate,

which service exceeds $5,000,

by virtue of a written agreement with the owner of the real estate,

and to whom a debt is due for the performance of the landscaping service,

has a mechanics’ lien on the real estate” to secure payment of the debt due to him as provided by Section 29-5-10 and Section 29-5-20.” See South Carolina Code Ann., §29-5-26(A).

Under the new addition to the statute, “landscape services” include a wide range of services. Specifically, the statute defines the services to include:

“(1) land clearing, grading, filling, plant removal, natural obstruction removal, or other preparation of land;

(2) provision or installation, or both of them, of a landscaping item including plant material, mulch, paving, walkway, swimming pool, fountain, retaining wall, bulkhead, deck, patio, lightscaping system, irrigation system, drainage structure, drainage system, underground utility, or other feature incidental and necessary to a landscape plan or site design; or

(3) both.”

The statute goes on to say that to give rise to lien rights, a landscaping service does not need to be related to “the construction, erection, alteration, or repair” of a building or structure. In addition, liens under the new statute are governed by the same filing rules South Carolina currently has in place for regular mechanics’ liens. These rules are found in §29-5-10, §29-5-15 and §29-5-20 of the South Carolina Code.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed §29-5-26 into law on June 2, 2009.

For more information on this topic or any legal questions regarding South Carolina construction, please contact Caroline Lindsey, an attorney with Anderson Jones, PLLC at (919) 277-2541 or by email,!