When you’re starting on a new construction job, there is a laundry list of things that you have to keep track of. One of the easiest to forget is the start date of the job. The further away you get from that date, the harder it can be to pinpoint it. There is a tool that can solve this issue — a Notice of Commencement in Ohio.
This is the formal document that identifies the beginning of the project. Furthermore, the start date it establishes sets the deadline for other important documents and notices. Notices of Commencement (NOC) include the following information:
- Which parties are on the construction project, such as the project owner or the lending institution
- The type of work the project requires
- The legal description of the real property
Some states require that a Notice of Commencement be filed at the start of the project; and, in others, it might be optional. And, as expected, Notices of Commencement have implications when it comes to Ohio lien law. Here, I’ll tell you about an Ohio Notice of Commencement and how to find it when you’re working on an Ohio-based construction project.
Who needs to file a Notice of Commencement, and when?
Most of the time, a Notice of Commencement must appear before or just after anybody furnishes labor or material on real property.
Generally, it’s the person or entity at the top of the payment chain — the property owner, the part owner, or the general contractor — that files a Notice of Commencement. Ohio is one of the few states where a Notice of Commencement is required and must be filed by the property owner or the party authorizing the work to be done on the property. (See Ohio Revised Code § 1311.04).
Although not required, Ohio construction law allows original contractors or construction lenders to file the Notice of Commencement.
Free Form Template Download: Ohio Notice of Commencement
Why is knowing the Project Start Date important?
The project start date has an effect on the preliminary notice and mechanics lien requirements and deadlines for the parties down the contracting chain. In Ohio Notices of Commencement indirectly protect property owners and general contractors by creating a preliminary notice requirement for potential lien claimants. In Ohio, sub-tier parties (such as subcontractors and material suppliers) are required to send Notice of Furnishing if the owner files a Notice of Commencement. However, a notice of furnishing is not necessary if the owner does not file a Notice of Commencement.
The filer must post the Notices of Commencement clearly on the job site in the Buckeye State. Also, a copy of the Notice of Commencement must be sent to the general contractor working on the project. While it’s not required in Ohio, it’s advisable to record the notice with the county in which the project site is located. If for some reason the filer fails to file the Notice of Commencement, they file the NOC late, or the filer fails to provide a requested copy to a potential claimant, the timeline to file a mechanics lien may be extended.
Other important Ohio resources:
What if you need to find a Notice of Commencement?
As one of the few states that requires a Notice of Commencement, Ohio requires that be filed by the property owner or the party authorizing the work to be done on the property. Ohio Law requires that the Notice of Commencement be posted at the job site in a place that’s clearly visible. So the first place you should check is the actual job site.
However, sometimes it just isn’t feasible for you to go to the job site. If you’re a sub or a materialman, you may never have to physically travel to the job site, for example. In this case, there are a few options you can try:
- Make a written request by certified mail to the property owner or the general contract. The Buckeye state requires that a copy is sent to the general contractor working on the project. The requested party must produce a copy of the notice within 10 days of the written request. If for some reason a copy of this notice is requested but isn’t provided to a potential claimant, the time to file a mechanics lien at the county recorder’s office may be extended.
- Search the county records where the project resides. Notices of commencement are recorded documents that can be accessed through the office of the county recorder.
In summary, project owners, original contractors, general contractors, and other parties high on the payment chain file NOCs before the furnishing of any materials or the performance of any labor.
It’s important to know about the Ohio Notice of Commencement and how to find it. It’s beneficial to lien claimants because it can help you know what deadlines you need to adhere to if need be. Along with that, Notices of Commencement protect you from any incorrect information about the project that you may encounter. In this way, the information contained on a Notice of Commencement will be crucial in preserving your lien rights.