44A-2. Persons entitled to lien on personal property.

(a) Any person who tows, alters, repairs, stores, services, treats, or improves personal property other than a motor vehicle or an aircraft in the ordinary course of his business pursuant to an express or implied contract with an owner or legal possessor of the personal property has a lien upon the property. The amount of the lien shall be the lesser of

(1) The reasonable charges for the services and materials; or

(2) The contract price; or

(3) One hundred dollars ($100.00) if the lienor has dealt with a legal possessor who is not an owner.

This lien shall have priority over perfected and unperfected security interests.

(b) Any person engaged in the business of operating a hotel, motel, or boardinghouse has a lien upon all baggage, vehicles and other personal property brought upon his premises by a guest or boarder who is an owner thereof to the extent of reasonable charges for the room, accommodations and other items or services furnished at the request of the guest or boarder. This lien shall not have priority over any security interest in the property which is perfected at the time the guest or boarder brings the property to said hotel, motel or boardinghouse.

(c) Any person engaged in the business of boarding animals has a lien on the animals boarded for reasonable charges for such boarding which are contracted for with an owner or legal possessor of the animal. This lien shall have priority over perfected and unperfected security interests.

(d) Any person who repairs, services, tows, or stores motor vehicles in the ordinary course of the person's business pursuant to an express or implied contract with an owner or legal possessor of the motor vehicle, except for a motor vehicle seized pursuant to G.S. 20-28.3, has a lien upon the motor vehicle for reasonable charges for such repairs, servicing, towing, storing, or for the rental of one or more substitute vehicles provided during the repair, servicing, or storage. This lien shall have priority over perfected and unperfected security interests. Payment for towing and storing a motor vehicle seized pursuant to G.S. 20-28.3 shall be as provided for in G.S. 20-28.2 through G.S. 20-28.5.

(e) Any lessor of nonresidential demised premises has a lien on all furniture, furnishings, trade fixtures, equipment and other personal property to which the tenant has legal title and which remains on the demised premises if (i) the tenant has vacated the premises for 21 or more days after the paid rental period has expired, and (ii) the lessor has a lawful claim for damages against the tenant. If the tenant has vacated the premises for 21 or more days after the expiration of the paid rental period, or if the lessor has received a judgment for possession of the premises which is executable and the tenant has vacated the premises, then all property remaining on the premises may be removed and placed in storage. If the total value of all property remaining on the premises is less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), then it shall be deemed abandoned five days after the tenant has vacated the premises, and the lessor may remove it and may donate it to any charitable institution or organization. Provided, the lessor shall not have a lien if there is an agreement between the lessor or his agent and the tenant that the lessor shall not have a lien. This lien shall be for the amount of any rents which were due the lessor at the time the tenant vacated the premises and for the time, up to 60 days, from the vacating of the premises to the date of sale; and for any sums necessary to repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant, normal wear and tear excepted; and for reasonable costs and expenses of sale. The lien created by this subsection shall be enforced by sale at public sale pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 44A-4(e). This lien shall not have priority over any security interest in the property which is perfected at the time the lessor acquires this lien.

(e1) This Article shall not apply to liens created by storage of personal property at a self-service storage facility.

(e2) Any lessor of a space for a manufactured home as defined in G.S. 143-143.9(6) has a lien on all furniture, furnishings, and other personal property including the manufactured home titled in the name of the tenant if (i) the manufactured home remains on the demised premises 21 days after the lessor is placed in lawful possession by writ of possession and (ii) the lessor has a lawful claim for damages against the tenant. If the lessor has received a judgment for possession of the premises which has been executed, then all property remaining on the premises may be removed and placed in storage. Prior to the expiration of the 21-day period, the landlord shall release possession of the personal property and manufactured home to the tenant during regular business hours or at a time mutually agreed upon. This lien shall be for the amount of any rents which were due the lessor at the time the tenant vacated the premises and for the time, up to 60 days, from the vacating of the premises to the date of sale; and for any sums necessary to repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant, normal wear and tear excepted; and for reasonable costs and expenses of the sale. The lien created by this subsection shall be enforced by public sale under G.S. 44A-4(e). The landlord may begin the advertisement for sale process immediately upon execution of the writ of possession by the sheriff, but may not conduct the sale until the lien has attached. This lien shall not have any priority over any security interest in the property that is perfected at the time the lessor acquires this lien. The lessor shall not have a lien under this subsection if there is an agreement between the lessor or the lessor's agent and the tenant that the lessor shall not have a lien.

(f) Any person who improves any textile goods in the ordinary course of his business pursuant to an express or implied contract with the owner or legal possessor of such goods shall have a lien upon all goods of such owner or possessor in his possession for improvement. The amount of such lien shall be for the entire unpaid contracted charges owed such person for improvement of said goods including any amount owed for improvement of goods, the possession of which may have been relinquished, and such lien shall have priority over perfected and unperfected security interests. "Goods" as used herein includes any textile goods, yarns or products of natural or man-made fibers or combination thereof. "Improve" as used herein shall be construed to include processing, fabricating or treating by throwing, spinning, knitting, dyeing, finishing, fabricating or otherwise.

(g) Any person who fabricates, casts, or otherwise makes a mold or who uses a mold to manufacture, assemble, or otherwise make a product pursuant to an express or implied contract with the owner of such mold shall have a lien upon the mold. For a lien to arise under this subsection, there must exist written evidence that the parties understood that a lien could be applied against the mold, with the evidence being in the form either of a written contract or a separate written statement provided by the potential holder of the lien under this subsection to the owner of the mold prior to the fabrication or use of the mold. The written contract or separate written statement must describe generally the amount of the potential lien as set forth in this subsection. The amount of the lien under this subsection shall equal the total of (i) any unpaid contracted charges due from the owner of the mold for making the mold, plus (ii) any unpaid contracted charges for all products made with the mold. The lien under this subsection shall not have priority over any security interest in the mold which is perfected at the time the person acquires this lien. As used in this subsection, the word "mold" shall include a mold, die, form, or pattern.

(h) Any landlord of nonresidential property, including any storage or self-storage space, in which potentially confidential materials, as that term is defined in G.S. 42-14.4(a), remain after the landlord has obtained possession of the property must provide notice to the North Carolina State Bar and comply with the provisions of G.S. 42-14.4, if the landlord has actual knowledge that the former tenant is an attorney. Potentially confidential materials shall not be the subject of a lien under the provisions of this Article. (1967, c. 1029, s. 1; 1971, cc. 261, 403; c. 544, s. 1; c. 1197; 1973, c. 1298, s. 1; 1975, c. 461; 1981, c. 566, s. 2; c. 682, s. 9; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1275, s. 2; 1995, c. 460, s. 9; c. 480, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 744, s. 1; 1998-182, s. 14; 1999-278, s. 5; 2006-222, s. 1.2; 2012-76, s. 2.)