What does a Preliminary Notice Mean?

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There are many types of lien services available today. They vary depending on the nature of the construction project and the type of vendor and contractors involved and the services they offer. Today’s article will focus on one of the most common types of lien services namely, Preliminary Notice.

The Meaning of a Preliminary Notice

A preliminary notice is a legally binding document that serves as a notification that a party is offering its services to the owner’s property in order to improve or enhance it. The notice is specifically written for and written to the property owner.

The Parties Involved

Depending on the nature of business, the party could belong to a varying number of industries. However since they revolve around construction, the parties in this case are generally suppliers, vendors or contractor.

The Services a Preliminary Notice Covers

This notice covers contractors and suppliers offering their services in the form of labor, materials or equipment in order to improve the current condition of the owner’s property. This could be adding new structures or remove/remodeling existing one

Why Is This Notice Served?

It is the supplier’s or the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the owner of the property is fully aware of the work he is about to undertake and that all the arrangements about the entire projects including payment have been mutually discussed and agreed upon.

Many owners have a general contactor working for them. Suppliers can approach them directly and perform all the work under their supervision. However just because the general contractor is aware of the work being done does not mean that the owner is too. Moreover, the general contractor is not the owner of the property. Therefore by law it is the supplier’s responsibility to make sure that the owner of the property is fully aware of all aspects of the construction about to take place.

The Next Step

Once the owner has been informed, he can use the Lien Release to verify that the supplier has been paid and that work can now commence.

When should a Preliminary Notice be filed?

The number of days to file this notice varies depending on the requirements of the state where the work is being done. In California for example, the notice is filed within 20 days from the first day work begins or material is delivered.

Validity of a Preliminary Notice

This notice is valid for the duration of the job. Once the job is completed the owner can either file a Notice of Completion or a Notice of Cessation with the latter implying that work on the job has ceased.

The above information should be sufficient to inform readers about the basics and benefits of a Preliminary notice. As always it is recommended for all parties to know their lien right before they get involved in any project and discuss all matters thoroughly before signing anything.

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