Court Rules Oregon Construction Lien Law Alters General Rule of Recorded Interests
The Oregon Court of Appeals in SERA Architects, Inc. vs. Klahowya Condominium, LLC, ___ Or. App. ___ (November 7, 2012), held that an architect’s claim of construction lien under Oregon’s Construction Lien Law had priority over a lender’s deed of trust recorded before the architect’s claim of lien was recorded. The court ruled that the statutory scheme of the Construction Lien Law altered the general rule of recorded interests in real property that “first in time is first in right.” The court reasoned that the statute provides that the architect’s lien relates back to the date that work began on the property, rather than when it was recorded and made a matter of public record. The site preparation began before the lender recorded its trust deed, so the architect’s lien had priority.
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