Should a Preliminary Notice be sent even when not required?

Patty League

Patty League

Many construction projects are large and consist of numerous subcontractors and material suppliers.  On these huge projects, often times property owners are not knowledgeable of the individual parties involved on the project because it can be difficult to track down all of this pertinent information.  Your preliminary notice informs the property owner that you are working on the project.

If you work on projects in a state that does not require preliminary notices, you may ask yourself if you should still prepare and serve one.  Doing a preliminary notice all the time, even when not necessarily needed, is a good practice and just might get you paid quicker.

As we all know, payment problems and sometimes other issues undoubtedly occur on construction projects.  Depending on the type of project being worked on, subcontractors and other project participants have the option to file a mechanics lien claim against the property or a claim against the surety bond.  Sending a notice even if it is not required gives the property owner and paying party a head’s up that you are working on the project and often helps to avoid liens and bond claims.  Additionally, sending a preliminary notice even if not required is a sensible strategy in helping yourself get paid, as well as providing information so that all interested parties are in the loop. Owners and paying parties appreciate and welcome the effort made by the down-the-chain parties to communicate during the course of the project.  This endeavor gives all involved the opportunity to prevent any payment issues from arising.

Even when notice may not be required, go ahead and send notice anyway because it has many benefits that will help you succeed in the industry. Your number one goal, of course, is to ensure you get paid the money you earned.  Proactively sending notices is one of the best ways to make that happen, and it also helps to prevent mechanics liens from having to be recorded.

Of course, if the preliminary notice is required in your state where the project is located, it is imperative that you comply with those requirements because if you don’t, you could risk your ability to file a lien or bond claim.