In the case of a construction business, “Preliminary Notice” is a very frequently used term. Preliminary notice is served by the subcontractors and the contractors who supply materials to the owner of the construction site. By filing this notice, they establish a right to file a Mechanics Lien against the project owner in case they don’t receive the payment. In most states, you can’t file a Mechanics Lien if you haven’t filed the Preliminary Notice. If the payment is done on time, the Preliminary Notice is void and has no legal effect.
Timing of the Preliminary Notice: The time of filing the Preliminary Notice also depends on the State where you are working. In case there are no time requirements, you should ideally file the notice on the day you first start working on the project. For filing the project, you need to mention the quantities of the materials supplied and other related details. Those details are usually available at the start of the project.
Is an Attorney necessary for filing the Preliminary Notice; as per the law in most states, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer while filing a preliminary notice. A lawyer is needed while filing a mechanics lien. However, while issuing the Preliminary Notice, you will have to comply with the statute of your State, the prescribed format, and other legal requirements. In case you are not aware of the various laws, it will be best to seek the help of a lawyer.
Is a Preliminary Notice Necessary for Every Invoice: You don’t need to file a preliminary notice for each individual invoice. All you have to do is just file one preliminary notice for the entire amount of your project. However, if you voluntarily decide to waive your right to file a Mechanics Lien, then you have to file a Second Preliminary Notice.
What should you mention on the Preliminary Notice:
The format of the preliminary notice also varies from state to state. However, these are some of the basic things which should be there:
- Name of the owner along with the address
- Project Location
- In case there is a construction lender, you have to mention his name and address as well.
- A brief information about the work which you are going to do.
- Your relationship with the parties to whom you are serving the Preliminary Notice.
- The estimated total cost of the work which will be done.
- The direct contractor’s name and address should also be there.
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