Preliminary Notice, also called pre-lien notice or notice to owners, is the notice that is sent at the beginning of a construction project or when a subcontractor begins work. This notice is sent to the property owner, general contractor, or others as required by state law. Different states have different requirements for preliminary notice, and some state requirements vary depending on the type of project.
What is a Preliminary Notice?
This notice isn’t a mechanics lien or bond claim, nor is it a notice of intent to file a lien. It’s just letting the necessary parties know that you’re now working on the construction project. In many ways, its step one for getting your claim paid in the event you do need to file a mechanics lien or bond claim, but it has to be done before you know you’re going to have a payment issue. If you don’t follow a state’s preliminary notice requirements, you may not be qualified to file a lien or claim if an issue arises.
Property owners and general contractors like to receive preliminary notices because it helps them track exactly who is working on a project and how much they expect to be paid for their work. It helps the general contractor manage project security as well. Subcontractors who send their notices, in general, find they are paid more quickly than when they don’t send a notice.
How to Send a Preliminary Notice
In states where sending a preliminary notice is required, sending and receiving notice is common practice. If you’re qualified to file a mechanics lien, whether you’re furnishing labor or material to a construction project, you probably want to send a notice in these states. The property owners and contractors will be expecting to receive a notice from you.
Generally, preliminary notices are sent by certified mail with return receipt requested or by registered mail. Make sure to keep a copy of the notice and the return receipt so that if you do need to file a claim, you have the documentation you need to show you complied with the state’s procedure.
There’s a lot of work that goes into researching notice requirements, making sure your notice has the correct information, getting it properly mailed, keeping track of notices, and tracking whether a project has paid or not. You may have someone in house who can handle all this or you may want to reach out for some professional help. If you need any help or guidance, reach out to the team at National Lien and Bond. They can help you comply with the state’s rules or manage the whole process for you.
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