Please discard this page before providing the release to your customer.



Identifying Information

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Name of Claimant: 
Name of Customer: 
Job Location:  
Owner(s):   and   and   and 

Unconditional Waiver and Release
This document waives and releases lien, stop payment notice, and payment bond rights the claimant has for all labor and service provided, and equipment and material delivered, to the customer on this job. Rights based upon labor or service provided, or equipment or material delivered, pursuant to a written change order that has been fully executed by the parties prior to the date that this document is signed by the claimant, are waived and released by this document, unless listed as an Exception below. The claimant has been paid in full.

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This document does not affect any of the following: 

Disputed claims for extras in the amount of: $ 


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Claimant's Signature:
Claimant's Title: 
Date of Signature:


California Release and Waiver of Liens on Full Payment (Unconditional)

Ensure an easy final payment process and release a contractor from their duties with a California release and waiver of liens form. Handle exceptions and ensure a smooth conclusion of your contract project.

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How-to guides, articles, and any other content appearing on this page are for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and are no substitute for the advice of an attorney.

California release and waiver of liens on full payment (unconditional): How-to guide

Hiring a general contractor can be a nerve-wracking experience for any home or property owner. This company or individual will be in charge of your entire project. Whether it is completely new construction or a major remodeling, you are putting one of your most valuable assets in someone else’s hands.

Vague, verbal agreements can lead to disputes and ill will. Hence, with regard to construction contracts, it’s best for all parties to agree on the tasks that have been completed and the payments that have been made. That’s where a release and waiver of liens come into the picture.

Understanding unconditional release and waiver

When a homeowner or business undergoes remodeling or similar contract work, as a customer, they look forward to getting the work done on time. Once done, the contractor must be paid, acknowledge that payment, and release any liens on the property.

In the realm of construction contracts, all the above-mentioned functions are covered in an unconditional release and waiver of liens agreement. This agreement essentially means that upon receiving full payment for the completed work, the contractor gives up any rights to place a lien on the property. In other words, this waiver serves as a formal acknowledgment from the contractor that they have been compensated for their services and that they will not pursue any further claims against the property.

What does a California release and waiver of liens on full payments mean?

In California, a release and waiver of liens on full payment (unconditional) is a legal document exchanged between the property owner and the contractor upon the completion of a project. It serves as proof that the contractor has been paid in full for their services and that they relinquish any claim or lien rights they may have had on the property as a result of their work.

What does unconditional and full payment mean here?

Unconditional: An unconditional release and waiver of liens means that the contractor surrenders all rights to claim a lien on the property, regardless of any future circumstances. Once this waiver is signed and executed, the contractor can’t place a lien on the property, even if the payment later proves to be insufficient.

Full payment: Full payment refers to the complete compensation made by the property owner to the contractor as per the terms of their agreement. It includes all costs and fees outlined in the contract, ensuring that the contractor receives fair remuneration for their services.

What are the differences between conditional and unconditional waiver and release?

Conditional waiver and release

A conditional waiver and release are like a “wait and see” approach. This means that the contractor agrees to release their lien rights, but only if certain conditions are met.

For example, let's say you're a homeowner who just paid your contractor to finish up some renovation work on your kitchen. You hand over the check, but it hasn't cleared the bank yet. The contractor might give you a conditional waiver and release in this case. It says they'll release their lien rights once the check clears and the payment is confirmed.

Contractors use conditional waivers and releases to protect themselves. They want to make sure they actually get paid before giving up their rights to file a lien on your property. It's like saying, "I'll let go of this claim once I’m sure the money’s in the bank.”

Unconditional waiver and release

An unconditional waiver and release are not subject to any conditions. It essentially means that upon receiving full payment for the completed work, the contractor relinquishes any rights to place a lien on the property. This waiver serves as a formal acknowledgment from the contractor that they have been compensated fairly for their services and that they will not pursue any further claims against the property.

For example, let's stick with the kitchen renovation scenario. This time, you've paid the contractor, the check has cleared, and everything is good to go. The contractor might give you an unconditional waiver and release in this case. It means they're releasing their lien rights right away, with no waiting period or conditions needed.

Unconditional waivers and releases are a sign of trust and confidence. It's like saying, “I’m all good with this payment, no strings attached.” Contractors might use this when they're confident in the payment process or want to wrap things up quickly without any lingering obligations.

What are the requisites for the release and waiver of liens agreement? 

Understanding lien waivers in construction agreements

A California lien waiver and release for full payment is used only if the owner has made all payments and the contractor has received all necessary payments. You shouldn’t use unconditional lien waiver forms for full payment if the contractor has been paid partially or the owner has only made a progress payment and intends to retain liens on the work and the property.

Requirements while signing the lien waiver form

The parties involved should sign two copies of the release and waiver form. One is given to the owner, and the contractor keeps the other. 

Until the release is completed and signed, the terms of the original agreement are still in effect, so make sure both parties continue to perform their obligations under that agreement.

Having the contractor’s signature on the release witnessed or notarized may be a good idea. Because this is an important document for both parties’ purposes, notarization can limit later challenges to the validity of the signature. 

If your agreement is complicated, reach out to an attorney for the specific requirements. 

Essential components of a lien waiver form

Here are the important components and terms of an unconditional waiver and release form (for full payment).


Start this section by identifying the entire document as a release and waiver of liens on full payment. Provide the name of the contractor and, if applicable, what type of organization they are. The following information can provide you with some basic understanding of this section: 

  • In California lien waivers, the contractor is addressed as the “claimant,” and the property owner or the paying party is the “owner.”
  • Only the claimant signs the agreement form since they are the only ones who have the power to release the claims they hold. 
  • In the agreement, you should also write the date the release will become effective (often the date it is signed).


The “whereas” clauses, referred to as recitals, give an overview of the terms of the agreement, including detailed background information of the parties. In this agreement, the recitals include a description of the original contracting agreement, the details of the owner, and the property on which the construction project occurs.

Receipt of full payment

This section outlines the contractor’s agreement that it has received the final payment, which satisfies the full amount under the original agreement. Provide the exact amount of the final payment that is being paid for the project.

Release; waiver

This is the key section of the document in which the contractor or claimant releases the hold it has on the owner’s property and the work in exchange for the receipt of the full payment.


This part explains that if a third party sues the owner for anything specifically released by this form, the contractor agrees to defend the owner (both legally and financially) against these claims.

Representations and warranties

This section includes the contractor’s sworn statements about the state of liens and amounts owed to third parties or subcontractors. It can include terms like:

  • If the claimant is a company, this section explains that the contractor (as a company) has approved the contract and granted the individual signing on its behalf.
  • The contractor ensures that there are no claims against the property or for the work they have done.
  • All third parties (including subcontractors and companies supplying materials) have been fully paid.
  • Promises no financing statements have been filed against the property or the materials.

Frequently asked questions

What key details are required to complete an unconditional release and waiver form in California?

The key details you'll need to complete your unconditional lien waiver are:

  • Who it's coming from: Determine whether the lien waiver agreement for final payment is sent by the property owner or the contractor. You should also clarify whether the sending party is a business or an individual and their name and contact information accordingly
  • Who it's going to: Keep the name and contact details of the individual or business to whom the lien waiver and release agreement is going
  • Exceptions: If any additional conditions are applicable to the agreement, keep the list ready while creating the agreement

Why is it important to review a California lien waiver?

Once a lien waiver is drafted, the contractor and the property owner should review it carefully, along with the release form and original agreement. This will help avoid any future disputes or claims that the parties to the agreement didn’t understand any terms in the documents.

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