Note: Louisiana’s lien and notice laws changed on January 1, 2020, so some information in this post might be outdated. You can learn what changed and what rules apply here: Louisiana Mechanics Lien FAQs and Louisiana Notice FAQs.
You are in the business of leasing heavy equipment to contractors. You are beginning to provide more and more machinery to jobsites. You just hit your first snag with payment. What do you do?
Chances are you are stuck in rough spot and have to defer to your contract for remedy. There is likely no answer for you under the lien law – unless you filed a notice of lease agreement with the owner within the appropriate time frame.
Lessors often do not learn about the dreaded notice provision until after they have been bitten by a bad customer. Both the Private Works Act and the Public Works Act each require that the Lessor of equipment to a construction project provide advance notice to the owner of the equipment’s use and existence at the jobsite.
Luckily, satisfaction of this requirement is quite simple. Under both Acts, a Lessor of movables (equipment, vehicles, etc.) must “deliver a copy of the lease to the owner not more than ten days after the movables are first placed at the site of the immovable for use in the work.” La. R.S. 38:2242(c). If the job is private and not public, you must also provide a copy of the lease to the contractor. La. R.S. 9:4802(G)(1).
The official comment for subsection G of La. R.S. 9:4802 states that the purpose of this law is to give notice to the owner and the contractor that equipment being used by a contractor is leased and thus potentially creating liability under the Private Works Act.
Though the type of delivery is not specified, it is commonplace to use hand delivery or certified mail. If hand delivery is utilized, it is important that the courier fill out a simple affidavit specifying what was delivered, when it was delivered, who it was delivered to, and where it was delivered.
Finally, the Notice of Lease Agreement does not have to be in any specific form – simply a copy of the contract should suffice. We do prefer that you use a cover sheet to inform the owner and contractor of the purpose of the delivery, reserving your rights under either La. R.S. 9:4802 (Private Works) or La. R.S. 38:2242 (Public Works).