Pennsylvania Statutes Title 49 P.S. Mechanics' Liens § 1201. Definitions

The following words, terms and phrases when used in this act shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1)  “Improvement” includes any building, structure or other improvement of whatsoever kind or character erected or constructed on land, together with the fixtures and other personal property used in fitting up and equipping the same for the purpose for which it is intended.

(2)  “Property” means the improvement, the land covered thereby and the lot or curtilage appurtenant thereto belonging to the same legal or equitable owner reasonably needed for the general purposes thereof and forming a part of a single business or residential plant.

(3)  “Owner” means an owner in fee, a tenant for life or years or one having any other estate in or title to property.

(4)  “Contractor” means one who, by contract with the owner, express or implied, erects, constructs, alters or repairs an improvement or any part thereof or furnishes labor, skill or superintendence thereto;  or supplies or hauls materials, fixtures, machinery or equipment reasonably necessary for and actually used therein;  or any or all of the foregoing, whether as superintendent, builder or materialman.  The term also includes an architect or engineer who, by contract with the owner, express or implied, in addition to the preparation of drawings, specifications and contract documents also superintends or supervises any such erection, construction, alteration or repair.

(5)  “Subcontractor” means one who, by contract with the contractor, or pursuant to a contract with a subcontractor in direct privity of a contract with a contractor, express or implied, erects, constructs, alters or repairs an improvement or any part thereof;  or furnishes labor, skill or superintendence thereto;  or supplies or hauls materials, fixtures, machinery or equipment reasonably necessary for and actually used therein;  or any or all of the foregoing, whether as superintendent, builder or materialman.  The term does not include an architect or engineer who contracts with a contractor or subcontractor, or a person who contracts with a materialman or a person who contracts with a subcontractor not in direct privity of a contract with a contractor.

(6)  “Claimant” means a contractor or subcontractor who has filed or may file a claim under this act for a lien against property.

(7)  “Materials” means building materials and supplies of all kinds, and also includes fixtures, machinery and equipment reasonably necessary to and incorporated into the improvement.

(8)  “Completion of the work” means performance of the last of the labor or delivery of the last of the materials required by the terms of the claimant's contract or agreement, whichever last occurs.

(9)  “Labor” includes the furnishing of skill or superintendence.

(10)  “Erection and construction” means the erection and construction of a new improvement or of a substantial addition to an existing improvement or any adaptation of an existing improvement rendering the same fit for a new or distinct use and effecting a material change in the interior or exterior thereof.

(11)  “Alteration and repair” means any alteration or repair of an existing improvement which does not constitute erection or construction as defined herein.

(12)  “Erection, construction, alteration or repair” includes:

(a) Demolition, removal of improvements, excavation, grading, filling, paving and landscaping, when such work is incidental to the erection, construction, alteration or repair;

(b) Initial fitting up and equipping of the improvement with fixtures, machinery and equipment suitable to the purposes for which the erection, construction, alteration or repair was intended;  and

(c) Furnishing, excavating for, laying, relaying, stringing and restringing rails, ties, pipes, poles and wires, whether on the property improved or upon other property, in order to supply services to the improvement.

(13)  “Prothonotary” means the prothonotary of the court or courts of common pleas of the county or counties in which the improvement is situate.

(14)  “Residential property” means property on which there is or will be constructed a residential building not more than three stories in height, not including any basement level, regardless of whether any portion of that basement is at grade level, or which is zoned or otherwise approved for residential development on which there is or will be constructed a residential building not more than three stories in height, not including any basement level, regardless of whether any portion of that basement is at grade level, planned residential development or agricultural use, or for which a residential subdivision or land development plan or planned residential development plan has received preliminary, tentative or final approval on which there is or will be constructed a residential building not more than three stories in height, not including any basement level, regardless of whether any portion of that basement is at grade level, pursuant to the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 805, No. 247),  1 known as the “Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.”

(15) “ Costs of construction ” means all costs, expenses and reimbursements pertaining to erection, construction, alteration, repair, mandated off-site improvements, government impact fees and other construction-related costs, including, but not limited to, costs, expenses and reimbursements in the nature of taxes, insurance, bonding, inspections, surveys, testing, permits, legal fees, architect fees, engineering fees, consulting fees, accounting fees, management fees, utility fees, tenant improvements, leasing commissions, payment of prior filed or recorded liens or mortgages, including mechanics liens, municipal claims, mortgage origination fees and commissions, finance costs, closing fees, recording fees, title insurance or escrow fees, or any similar or comparable costs, expenses or reimbursements related to an improvement made or intended to be made to the property.  For purposes of this definition, reimbursement includes any such disbursements made to the borrower, any person acting for the benefit or on behalf of the borrower or to an affiliate of the borrower.

(16)  “Department” means the Department of General Services.

(17)  “Directory” means the State Construction Notices Directory in section 501.1.  2

(18)  “Searchable project” means a project consisting of the erection and construction, or alteration or repair, of an improvement costing a minimum of one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000).

(19)  “Construction notice” means the following notices related to a searchable project:

(i) a Notice of Commencement;

(ii) a Notice of Furnishing;

(iii) a Notice of Completion;  or

(iv) a Notice of Nonpayment.

(20)  “Searchable project owner” means the owner of record of real property that is a searchable project.  The term shall include the owner's agent.

1 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
2 49 P.S. § 1501.1.

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