In Ohio, Notices of Furnishing function like preliminary notices Although the two forms work in similar ways, there are a few notable differences between the classic prelim and Ohio Notices of Furnishing. In this post, we’ll go through the key points you should be aware of before you prepare your Notice of Furnishing on a construction project.
Why Should I Send a Notice at All?
The short answer: It’s best practice to send a notice on every construction project (and sometimes you have to).
The long answer: If the owner files a Notice of Commencement with the county recorder, most other parties are required to submit a preliminary notice. In Ohio, this notice is called a Notice of Furnishing. Even if a preliminary notice is not necessary, it certainly doesn’t hurt to submit one! Protecting your lien rights is often the difference between payment and nonpayment. Also, preliminary notices help support good working relationships by making sure that owners, lenders, and general contractors know who is working for them (this is especially beneficial on large construction projects).
Keep in mind:
- Best practice is to submit a preliminary notice for public and private projects. Specifically, residential projects and commercial projects.
- If the real property owner (or any other party with an interest in the property) requests, the lien claimant must provide a written statement of work and/or material provided and the amount unpaid within 10 days of the request. Failure to do so might extinguish lien rights.
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Who must send a Notice in Ohio? And to whom?
The short answer: Basically everyone but the GC.
The long answer: Ohio requires that all parties who do not contract directly with the real property owner (except laborers) must file a Notice of Furnishing in order to protect their lien rights. This includes subcontractors, material suppliers, and anyone who isn’t an original contractor or a principal contractor. The preliminary notice must be submitted to the owner (or the owner’s designee), the part owner, the lessee, or the lessee’s designee as described in the copy of the Notice of Commencement. If the lien claimant is not in direct contract with the GC, the GC must also be provided with a notice.
Keep in mind:
- At the lien claimant’s discretion, the Notice of Furnishing may also be given to any construction (or other) lending institution.
What Should You Include in Your Notice of Furnishing?
The short answer: The specifics about the construction project.
- The name and address of the owner
- The contractor’s name and address (you)
- The name and addresses of other contractors on the construction project
- The address of the job site
- The date that you furnished labor and materials for the project
When do I send a Notice of Furnishing?
The short answer: Within twenty-one days.
The long answer: Ohio law gives you a time period of 21 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials, or within 21 days from filing of Notice of Commencement in Ohio. The notice must be sent after the first day of furnishing labor and/or materials and is ineffective if sent before that date. A potential lien claimant is not required to give preliminary notice prior to the filing of the Notice of Commencement. If the Notice of Commencement is absent, the Notice of Furnishing is not necessary. Late Notices of Furnishing cover work and/or labor furnished throughout the preceding 21 days.
Keep in mind:
- Don’t send your notice too soon! Early notices are ineffective – even if the owner doesn’t receive it until after furnishing begins!
- It’s never too late! Ohio notices of furnishing retroactively apply to the preceding 21 days.
- There’s no specific date to notice the public authority. However, you should send the notice as soon as you can.
How do I send My Notice?
The short answer: Certified mail.
The long answer: You have several options. The county sheriff can deliver the notice, or you can send the notice via certified mail, registered mail, or you can serve the notice by hand.
Keep in mind:
- Under Ohio law, the delivery is complete if you send the notice via certified mail. However, the burden of actual delivery remains on the sending party.