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WHY send a Notice to Owner?
To protect your mechanics lien rights! Washington has nuanced rules and requirements regarding the sending of preliminary notices. Most parties on private construction projects are required to submit a Notice to Owner in order to protect their mechanics lien rights.
WHO must send a Washington Notice to Owner? And to whom?
If you did not contract directly with the owner or the general contractor, you are required to submit a Notice to Owner in order to protect your right to file a mechanics lien. If you only furnish labor (and do not provide materials), you are not required to send preliminary notice in Washington. If you provide labor and there is a material component to the contract or furnishing, preliminary notice is required to fully protect your mechanics lien rights.
Keep in mind:
- Under certain circumstances, parties that contract directly with the owner are required to submit a “Model Disclosure Statement.” Visit this page for more information: Deliver the Washington Model Disclosure Statement, or Else.
- If you did not contract directly with the GC, you must also submit notice to the GC.
- Rules get complicated on condo projects due to multiple owners
WHAT is included in a Washington Notice to Owner?
Washington state provides a preferred preliminary notice form. Download the Notice to Owner form here.
WHEN do I send a Notice to Owner?
Within a limited time frame, which depends on the project type. The Washington Notice to Owner can be sent at any time if you did not contract directly with the owner, but the notice only protects your right to claim a lien for a limited period of time prior to delivery of the notice.
To fully protect your lien rights, the Notice to Owner should be delivered within 60 days of commencing work on a project. This applies to all commercial cases and to remodeling, alteration, or repair of an owner-occupied single-family residence. If you send notice late on these projects, it will apply to work done in the preceding 60 days.
For work on the construction of a new single-family home, the Notice to Owner must be delivered within 10 days of first furnishing labor or materials. If it is sent late, it will apply to labor or materials furnished in the preceding 10 days.
Keep in mind:
- If you contracted directly with the owner and are submitting the Model Disclosure Statement, it must be delivered prior to the beginning of work.
- Better late than never! A Late Notice to Owner will protect payments for work done 60 days prior to the delivery of the notice on certain projects.
HOW do I send a Notice to Owner?
A Notice to Owner may either be sent to the owner via certified or registered mail, or, personally delivered to, or served upon, the property owner and the general contractor. If the notice is personally delivered or served to the owner, a signed receipt from the owner or an affidavit of service is required.
Keep in mind:
- If you contracted directly with the owner, the Model Disclosure Statement must be delivered to, and signed by, the owner.
- If sent by registered or certified mail, the notice is considered delivered three days after mailing, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.