Kentucky Law on Filing Property Liens

Property liens place a hold on selling or borrowing against real estate.
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Kentucky lien laws dictate the process for filing a lien against a parcel of real estate and the various types of liens which can be levied against a property owner. State laws mirror and enhance United States federal lien laws.

Title Clouds

Liens are filed with the local county clerk's office and attach to property taxes. The real estate property owner can not sell or borrow against the equity of a home or vacant land until the lien is cleared. If an owner attempts to sell a lien-assessed property, "clouds," or defects in the title, will show up during a legal title search.


Kentucky law recognizes 23 different types of liens. An attorney's lien is levied against a property for unpaid legal fees. An agister's lien is issued when a fee is owed for work completed, services rendered or other livestock-related matters. Governmental liens can be filed for unpaid property taxes, municipal utilities, child support, penal code offenses, state lottery fines and worker's compensation.

Court Process

An attorney's services are not necessary to file a lien with the county clerk. A nominal fee is charged when filing. If the property owner disputes a lien, the case will be heard by either a small claims court or County Court of Common Pleas.

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