Preliminary notices are the building blocks to the mechanics lien process. Subcontractors and suppliers (and sometimes general contractors and design professionals) must send notice to protect their ability to file a lien. General contractors, property owners, and lenders rely on notices to paint a picture of who is working on their projects.
WHY send a Georgia preliminary notice?
Sending notice is essential to protecting your mechanics lien rights.
In Georgia, certain parties are required to send preliminary notice in order to maintain a valid lien claim. It is best practice for all parties on construction projects to send preliminary notice, even if it is not specifically required. Preliminary notices also support good working relationships, as they make sure that owners, lenders, and general contractors know who is working for them (this is especially beneficial on large projects).
In Georgia, preliminary notice is sometimes called a “Notice to Contractor” or “Notice to Owner”.
WHO must send a Georgia preliminary notice? And to whom?
Parties not contracted directly with the owner are required to send preliminary notice if a Notice of Commencement is filed. If a Notice of Commencement is not filed, lien claimants are permitted to file a Preliminary Notice of Lien which prevents lien rights from being knocked out by a prime contractor’s affidavit or lien waiver attesting to the payment of all subcontractors.
Georgia Preliminary Notice
WHEN do I send a Georgia preliminary notice?
Preliminary notice should be sent at the later of these dates: within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials on a project, or 30 days from the filing of the Notice of Commencement.
Failure to provide the Notice to Contractor within the statutorily mandated time frame, when such notice is required, is fatal to the lien claim in Georgia. Failure to provide a timely preliminary notice, if the a Notice of Commencement was not filed, has no consequence to a party’s lien rights provided the contractor has not attested in an affidavit to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers. If the contractor has so attested, lien rights may be extinguished if the preliminary notice has not been filed.
Keep in mind:
- Best practice is to send preliminary notice as soon as you commence work.
HOW do I send a preliminary notice in Georgia?
Preliminary Notice must be sent by registered or certified mail or by statutory overnight delivery.
The Preliminary Notice of Lien Rights should be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the project is located, and a copy should be sent to the owner and general contractor within 7 days of filing by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery.
Keep in mind:
- Preliminary notice is considered delivered at the time of mailing.