As many in the construction industry are aware, owners and lenders often require prime contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers to execute sworn statements and lien waiver and release forms as a prerequisite to payment. Many states therefore see it fit to regulate — in varying degrees — what those forms say and look like. Forms that fail to meet a state’s specific requirements may be found invalid.
Given the wide use throughout the country of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) suite of construction contract documents and the variety of differing requirements among states, the AIA had not previously offered sworn statements or lien waiver and release forms, despite such documents being referenced throughout their other contract documents. That, however, has recently changed with the release of state-specific forms for Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, and one general form to be used for the remaining states. Other than party names, dates, and dollar amounts, the state-specific forms may not be edited, while the general form may be.
Naturally, with the prior absence of such “standard” AIA forms, many users of AIA documents have generated their own favored forms (particularly in unregulated states). Those forms vary widely as far as the scope of the release. With that backdrop, it will be interesting to see how these new forms are adopted, but it is likely that those in the industry will be seeing and discussing them in the near future.