A PRELIMINARY NOTICE is governed by
Civil Code Sections 8034, 8102, 8116, 8200 & 9300 et. seq..

In Mechanics lien law a Preliminary Notice is a notice sent by the contractor, subcontractor, materialmen, equipment lessors or other parties to a construction project not to create a Mechanics lien but rather to establish a right to file a Mechanics lien.

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A PRELIMINARY NOTICE is governed by
Civil Code Sections 8034, 8102, 8116, 8200 & 9300 et. seq..

In Mechanics lien law a Preliminary Notice is a notice sent by the contractor, subcontractor, materialmen, equipment lessors or other parties to a construction project not to create a Mechanics lien but rather to establish a right to file a Mechanics lien.

In Mechanics lien law a Preliminary Notice is a notice sent by the contractor, subcontractor, materialmen, equipment lessors or other parties to a construction project not to create a Mechanics lien but rather to establish a right to file a Mechanics lien.

The distinction is important. If the Preliminary Notice is sent but the claimant's bill is paid the Preliminary Notice has no further legal effect. However, if the bill is not paid the claimant may now file a Mechanics lien on the owner's property. Most states do not allow the filing of a Mechanics lien without claimants being able to prove they first sent a Preliminary Notice.

 

A PRELIMINARY NOTICE must be prepared and mailed by certified mail to the owner/reputed owner of the project, the construction lender, prime contractor (general contractor) and bonding company (payment bond). The PRELIMINARY NOTICE must be mailed by certified mail to all of the aforementioned parties.

On a private works project, if you have a direct contract with the owner of the project you do not need to do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE in order to have the right to record a Mechanic’s Lien against the property. However, if there is a lender on the project, you will need to do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE in order to have the legal right to serve the lender with a Stop Payment Notice. If there is a private work Payment Bond on the project, you will need to do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE or Notice to Principal and Surety on the Payment Bond in order to have the right to make a claim on the private works Payment Bond.

If you are a subcontractor or a subcontractor to a subcontractor or a material supplier on a private works project, it is mandatory that you do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE.

On a public works project, if you have a direct contract with the prime contractor (general contractor), you do not need to do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE in order to have the right to file a Stop Payment Notice, but you do need to do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE, serving the bond company, or a Notice to Principal and Surety on Payment Bond in order to have a claim against the project Payment Bond.

On a public works project if you do not have a direct contract with the prime contractor (general contractor) or you are a subcontractor to a subcontractor or a material supplier you must do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE in order to have the right to make a Stop Payment Notice or Payment Bond claim.

A PRELIMINARY NOTICE should be mailed by certified mail within 20 days of date you first started work or supplied materials to the project. The best rule of thumb is to do the PRELIMINARY NOTICE as soon as you sign a contract, receive a notice to proceed, receive a work authorization, purchase order or receive some indication that you have been retained to provide labor or materials to a project. There is no penalty for serving an early PRELIMINARY NOTICE.

If you serve a late PRELIMINARY NOTICE, the PRELIMINARY NOTICE, relates back 20 days and covers all labor or materials furnished 20 days before the PRELIMINARY NOTICE was mailed through the end of the project.

A PRELIMINARY NOTICE is cheap insurance and you should do a PRELIMINARY NOTICE on each project just to be safe and guarantee that your lien rights are protected. If you have questions about a PRELIMINARY NOTICE contact your attorney or call attorney “Beard Hobbs at 619-698-0977.