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 — it’s a document called a Notice of Commencement. This is the formal document establishing the beginning of the project, and it’s from this start date that most other deadlines are measured.
Some states require that a Notice of Commencement be filed at the start of the project, and in others, it might be optional. 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 be filed before or just after any labor or materials are furnished on a given construction project.
Generally, it’s the person or entity at the top of the payment chain — the property 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.
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 are required to send Notice of Furnishing if the owner files a Notice of Commencement. However, no notice of furnishing is required if the owner does not file a Notice of Commencement.
The Buckeye State requires that the Notice of Commencement be placed on the job site in a place that stands out and is clearly visible. Also, a copy of the document 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 Notice of Commencement isn’t filed, filed late, or a copy is requested but isn’t given to a potential claimant, the timeline to file a mechanics lien may be extended.
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. Some subcontractors and suppliers never have to physically travel to the job site themselves. 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 the notice of commencement is requested but isn’t provided to a potential claimant, the time to file a mechanics lien may be extended.
- Search the county records where the project resides. Notices of commencement are recorded documents that can be accessed through the county records office.
It’s important to know about the Ohio Notice of Commencement and how to find it. It’s not all that bad for lien claimants because it can help you know what deadlines you need to adhere to if need be. As a matter of fact, the information contained on a Notice of Commencement will be crucial in preserving your lien rights.