New York Consolidated Laws, Lien Law - LIE § 2. Definitions

1. Lienor.  The term “lienor,” when used in this chapter, means any person having a lien upon property by virtue of its provisions, and includes his successor in interest.

2. Real property.  The term “real property,” when used in this chapter, includes real estate, lands, tenements and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal, fixtures, and all bridges and trestle work, and structures connected therewith, erected for the use of railroads, and all oil or gas wells and structures and fixtures connected therewith, and any lease of oil lands or other right to operate for the production of oil or gas upon such lands, and the right of franchise granted by a public corporation for the use of the streets or public places thereof, and all structures placed thereon for the use of such right or franchise.

3. Owner.  The term “owner,” when used in this chapter, includes the owner in fee of real property, or of a less estate therein, a lessee for a term of years, a vendee in possession under a contract for the purchase of such real property, and all persons having any right, title or interest in such real property, which may be sold under an execution in pursuance of the provisions of statutes relating to the enforcement of liens of judgment, and all persons having any right or franchise granted by a public corporation to use the streets and public places thereof, and any right, title or interest in and to such franchise.  The purchaser of real property at a statutory or judicial sale shall be deemed the owner thereof from the time of such sale.  If the purchaser at such sale fails to complete the purchase, pursuant to the terms of the sale, all liens created by his consent after such sale shall be a lien on any deposit made by him and not on the real property sold.

4. Improvement.  The term “improvement,” when used in this chapter, includes the demolition, erection, alteration or repair of any structure upon, connected with, or beneath the surface of, any real property and any work done upon such property or materials furnished for its permanent improvement, and shall also include any work done or materials furnished in equipping any such structure with any chandeliers, brackets or other fixtures or apparatus for supplying gas or electric light and shall also include the drawing by any architect or engineer or surveyor, of any plans or specifications or survey, which are prepared for or used in connection with such improvement and shall also include the value of materials actually manufactured for but not delivered to the real property, and shall also include the reasonable rental value for the period of actual use of machinery, tools and equipment and the value of compressed gases furnished for welding or cutting in connection with the demolition, erection, alteration or repair of any real property, and the value of fuel and lubricants consumed by machinery operating on the improvement, or by motor vehicles owned, operated or controlled by the owner, or a contractor or subcontractor while engaged exclusively in the transportation of materials to or from the improvement for the purposes thereof and shall also include the performance of real estate brokerage services in obtaining a lessee for a term of more than three years of all or any part of real property to be used for other than residential purposes pursuant to a written contract of brokerage employment or compensation.

5. Cost of improvement.  The term “cost of improvement,” when used in this chapter, means expenditures incurred by the owner in paying the claims of a contractor, an architect, engineer or surveyor, a subcontractor, laborer and materialman, arising out of the improvement, and in paying the amount of taxes based on payrolls including such persons and withheld or required to be withheld and taxes based on the purchase price or value of materials or equipment required to be installed or furnished in connection with the performance of the improvement, payment of taxes and unemployment insurance and other contributions due by reason of the employment out of which any such claim arose, and payment of any benefits or wage supplements or the amounts necessary to provide such benefits or furnish such supplements, to the extent that the owner, as employer, is obligated to pay or provide such benefits or furnish such supplements by any agreement to which he is a party, and shall also include fair and reasonable sums paid for obtaining building loan and subsequent financing, premiums on bond or bonds filed pursuant to section thirty-seven of this chapter or required by any such building loan contract or by any lease to be mortgaged pursuant thereto, or required by any mortgage to be subordinated to the building loan mortgage, premiums on bond or bonds filed to discharge liens, sums paid to take by assignment prior existing mortgages, which are consolidated with building loan mortgages and also the interest charges on such mortgages, sums paid to discharge or reduce the indebtedness under mortgages and accrued interest thereon and other encumbrances upon real estate existing prior to the time when the lien provided for in this chapter may attach, sums paid to discharge building loan mortgages whenever recorded, taxes, assessments and water rents existing prior to the commencement of the improvement, and also those accruing during the making of the improvement, and interest on building loan mortgages, ground rent and premiums on insurance likewise accruing during the making of the improvement.  The application of the proceeds of any building loan mortgage or other mortgage to reimburse the owner for any payments made for any of the above mentioned items for said improvement prior to the date of the initial advance received under the building loan mortgage or other mortgage shall be deemed to be an expenditure within the “cost of improvement” as above defined;  provided, however, such payments are itemized in the building loan contract and/or other mortgage other than a building loan mortgage, and provided further, that the payments have been made subsequent to the commencement of the improvement.

5-a. Benefits and wage supplements.  The term “benefits and wage supplements” as used in this chapter means all remuneration for employment paid in any medium other than cash, or reimbursement for expenses, or any payments which are not “wages” within the meaning of the law, including, but not limited to, health, welfare, non-occupational disability, retirement, vacation benefits, holiday pay and life insurance.

6. Public corporation.  The term “public corporation,” when used in this chapter, means a municipal corporation or a district corporation or a public benefit corporation as such corporations are defined in section three of the general corporation law.

7. Public improvement.  The term “public improvement,” when used in this chapter, means an improvement of any real property belonging to the state or a public corporation;  however, if the beneficial interest of an improvement is in an entity other than the state or a public corporation notwithstanding legal title being vested in an industrial development agency created under article eighteen-A of the general municipal law, then such improvement shall be considered an improvement of real property subject to mechanics' liens on real property as provided in section three of this chapter.  Nothing contained in this section shall create or be deemed to create any liability upon any industrial development agency for the payment of the cost of any improvement, or otherwise.  For the purposes of this subdivision the term “beneficial interest” shall mean the beneficial incidents of ownership of the improvement to include, but not be limited to, the right to possession, the right to claim tax benefits, if any, and the right to purchase or secure title to the improvement pursuant to an executory contract of sale, option agreement or lease.

8. Improvement of real property.  The term “improvement of real property,” when used in this chapter, means any improvement of real property not belonging to the state or a public corporation.

9. Contractor.  The term “contractor,” when used in this chapter, means a person who enters into a contract with the owner of real property for the improvement thereof, or with the state or a public corporation for a public improvement.

10. Subcontractor.  The term “subcontractor” when used in this chapter, means a person who enters into a contract with a contractor and/or with a subcontractor for the improvement of such real property or such public improvement or with a person who has contracted with or through such contractor for the performance of his contract or any part thereof.

11. Laborer.  The term “laborer,” when used in this chapter, means any person who performs labor or services upon such improvement.

12. Materialman.  The term “materialman” when used in this chapter, means any person who furnishes material or the use of machinery, tools, or equipment, or compressed gases for welding or cutting, or fuel or lubricants for the operation of machinery or motor vehicles, either to an owner, contractor or subcontractor, for, or in the prosecution of such improvement.

The expression “furnishes material” or other similar expression wherever used in this chapter, shall be deemed to mean and include the reasonable rental value for the period of actual use of machinery, tools or equipment, and the value of compressed gases furnished for welding or cutting, and the value of fuel and lubricants consumed by machinery operating on,  1 or by motor vehicles owned, operated or controlled by the owner, or a contractor or subcontractor while engaged exclusively in the transportation of materials to or from the improvement for the purposes thereof.

13. Building loan contract.  The term “building loan contract,” when used in this chapter, means a contract whereby a party thereto, in this chapter termed “lender,” in consideration of the express promise of an owner to make an improvement upon real property, agrees to make advances to or for the account of such owner to be secured by a mortgage on such real property, whether such advances represent moneys to be loaned or represent moneys to be paid in purchasing from or in selling for such owner bonds or certificates secured by such mortgage upon such real property, providing, however, nothing herein contained shall be deemed to construe as a building loan contract a preliminary application for a building loan made by such owner and accepted by such lender if, pursuant to such application and acceptance, a building loan contract is thereafter entered into between the owner and the lender and filed as provided in section twenty-two of this chapter.

14. Building loan mortgage.  The term “building loan mortgage,” when used in this chapter, means a mortgage made pursuant to a building loan contract and includes an agreement wherein and whereby a building loan mortgage is consolidated with existing mortgages so as to constitute one lien upon the mortgaged property.

15. Subsequent financing.  By the term “subsequent financing” is meant moneys borrowed upon the security of the improvement after the recording of a building loan contract and/or mortgage other than a building loan mortgage upon the premises to be improved and within four months after the completion thereof.

16. Prior mortgage.  By the term “prior mortgage” is meant a mortgage on real property and/or leasehold recorded prior to the commencement of an improvement thereon.

17. Consideration.  The term “consideration” when used in this chapter, includes real property as defined in section two hereof, and personal property as defined in section thirty-nine of the general construction law .

18. Advances.  The term “advances” when used in this chapter, includes money, real property as defined in section two hereof and/or personal property as defined in section thirty-nine of the general construction law .

19. Funds.  The term “funds” when used in this chapter, includes money, real property as defined in section two hereof and/or personal property as defined in section thirty-nine of the general construction law .

20. Persons.  The term “persons” when used in this chapter, includes an individual, partnership, association, trust or corporation.

1 So in original.  Probably should read “operating on the improvement”.  See same phraseology in subd. 4.

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