Preliminary notices are a legal documents filed by a subcontractor, a general contractor, or any other parties in a construction project to secure the right to file a construction lien later.
If the preliminary notice is served and the contractor is paid, the notice will have no more legal effect. However, if the claimant’s bill is not paid, a Construction Lien can then be filed on the property.
Each state is different: A preliminary notice must be delivered in most states, while some other states don’t require a preliminary notice. Each state also has a different name and period in which to send the notice. Without giving a preliminary notice in some states means that you cannot be allowed to file a Construction Lien on the property.
So, which states require preliminary notices?
- Alabama – The state laws require a notice sent to the owner before the performance of the project.
- Alaska – A Notice of Right to Lien is served to the owner of the property before starting the work. This proves that the proprietor has consented the work.
- Arizona – You are required to serve a Preliminary Twenty Day Notice. This must be sent within twenty days after starting work on the project.
- Arkansas – A notice is sent to the owner of a residential property before the commencement, while it is sent within 75 days of completion of a commercial project.
- California – A preliminary notice is sent within twenty days from the last furnishing.
- Colorado – A Notice of Intent must be served ten days before filing a construction lien.
- Florida – A notice is sent to the owner within 45 days of starting the work.
- Georgia – A notice is sent to the contractor and the owner within 30 days from the first service on the project.
- Indiana – A notice is required 60 days after completion of services on a residential project, and 90 days after the end of a commercial project.
- Iowa – A notice must be sent within 30 days from the first furnishing.
- Kansas – A Warning Statement is sent to a pre-existing residential property, and a Notice of Intent sent to a new property before the performance.
- Louisiana – For public projects, a notice is required 30 days after the work begins.
- Massachusetts – A Notice of Identification is required 30 days after starting work on the project.
- Michigan – A preliminary notice should be filed 90 days after the last day in which the services were provided.
- Montana – A preliminary notice is required only for residential projects within the 20 day period after providing the first service on the project.
- Nevada – You will be needed to serve a notice to the prime contractor and the owner of the property within 31 days of the first services. This is crucial especially when you do not have direct contact with the owner of the property.
- New Hampshire – A Notice of Right to Lien must be served to the before providing any services.
- New Jersey – A notice of any unpaid balance should be sent within 60 days after completion of any residential project. A notice must be served within ten days of the end of a commercial project.
- North Carolina – A Notice of Lien Agent is required within 15 days of signing the contract.
- Ohio – A preliminary notice is only required for commercial projects within 21 days after starting the work.
- Oregon – When the contracted work begins, a notice should be served to the owner within eight business days.
- South Carolina – A Notice of Furnishing Labor and Materials is required before beginning work.
- Tennessee – You must file a Notice to Owner before starting the project.
24. Texas – A notice must be served before the 15th day of the month, four months after completion of the project.
- Utah – A preliminary notice is required within 20 days after providing the first services.
- Virginia – A preliminary notice is required within 30 days of the first furnishing.
- Washington – A preliminary notice is required ten days from the first furnishing of a residential project, and within 60 days on a commercial project.
- Wisconsin – A Subcontractor Identification Notice is required 60 days after the project begins.
Although the preliminary notices differ from state to state, sending out an accurate and timely notice is crucial to maintaining your lien rights. A preliminary notice gives you the benefit of an added level of protection. It is important to have the correct form and follow all the statutory requirements provided by your state.