A construction lien (also called a “Mechanic” Lien) is a legal tool that an original contractor, construction manager, subcontractor, material supplier or laborer has to secure payment for unpaid labor, materials, expenses and services provided to a privately owned property. In Ohio, a Construction Lien is referred to as an “Affidavit of Lien” or just a “Mechanic Lien”.
When a Notice of Furnishing has been properly and timely served and a Mechanic Lien has been timely and properly filed with the Hamilton County Recorder’s Office (where the property is located), the Construction Lien creates an encumbrance (or a “cloud”) on the Property’s title, thereby giving notice to lenders and potential purchasers that someone (referred to as the “Claimant”) claims a debt is owed to it for unpaid labor, materials or services provided to the property. Lenders typically will not provide financing nor will they refinance a property that has a Construction Lien filed against it.
From 1794 to 1823, Mechanic Liens were recorded in Deed Books A to W2 (1794-1823). Therefore, Mechanic Liens up to 1823 were indexed in the Deed Book Indexes, # 1 and # 2. From 1823 to 1843, Mechanic Liens were recorded in Mortgage Books # 20 to 90. There are no direct indexes to those Mortgage books.
From 1843 on, Mechanic Liens were recorded in separate Mechanic Lien Books. Book # 1 covers 1843 to 1847 and there is an index in the rear of that book. Mechanic Lien books # 2 through # 21 were used from 1847 through 1903. There are no direct indexes to those books.
From 1903 through 1978, Mechanic Liens were recorded in books #22 through #87 which are indexed in the back of each book.
From 1978 to 1988, Mechanic Liens were recorded in books # 88 to # 97, but no direct indexes were created for those books.
Descriptions of Mechanic Lien books # 1 to 97 and any indexes can be found on the Recorder’s Office website Historic Records page.
Additional information on Hamilton County property records can be found at the Hamilton County Genealogical Society’s website Land Records page.
- Mechanic Lien books 1 through 97 (1843 - 1988), are on microfilm at the Recorder’s Office and Mechanic Lien book 1 through 21 are online at the Recorder’s Office website Mechanic Lien Search page As the title page is image #1, add 1 to the page number you wish to see on the search page.
- Mechanic Lien books 1 through 21 (1843 - 1902) are available online at the Family Search web page.
- Mechanic Lien books 2 through 21 (1843 - 1902) are on microfilm at the Recorder’s Office but there are no direct indexes.
- Mechanic Lien books 22 through 87 (1902 - 1978) are on microfilm at the Recorder’s Office which have indexes in the rear of each
- Mechanic Lien books 88 through 97 (1978 - 1988) are on microfilm at the Recorder’s Office and have no indexes.
- Mechanic Lien books 339 through 359 (1979 - 1988) are on microfilm at the Recorder’s Office and have no indexes.
The Mechanic Lien book title page is image # 1, so to get to the page of interest, add 1 to the index page number and enter that number in the search page box.
Quality of Images
Page images online as of July 2017 were originally processed with uniform image enhancement settings. As time permits, all the pages will be reviewed. Those of poor quality will be individually enhanced to provide the best image possible.
Revision: 20170729 JGD