Notice of Furnishing is the term for preliminary notice in four states. Those states are Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota. Most parties who furnish labor and/or materials on construction projects need to send these notices in order to secure lien rights. You should send notices of furnishing proactively, long before a payment issue arises. Lien claimants who send their notice too late or not at all typically lose the right to file a mechanics lien and have little recourse in the event of nonpayment.
Send a Notice of Furnishing on All Projects
Even when sending notice isn’t necessary, it’s generally a good idea to send one anyway. Why? Because sending notice of furnishing – or any preliminary notice – prioritizes your invoice and promotes transparency. When the people funding a construction project know who is contributing labor and/or materials and how much they are owed, the payment process is much more likely to occur smoothly and quickly.
The following states require at least some construction participants to send a notice in order to secure the right to file a mechanics lien. Read on to see if the requirements apply to you or your company, and also to see when notice is due.
In Michigan, any party not directly contracted with the property owner (or owner’s designee) must send notice within 20 days of first labor and/or materials to the project to secure the right to file a lien. Laborers have a different deadline, they must submit notice within 30 days from when wages were due.
How should I send my notice of furnishing in Michigan?
You can send a notice in Michigan by either personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested.
In Ohio, all parties who do not have a direct contract with the real property owner (excluding laborers) must send a notice of furnishing to the owner or the owner’s designee if there’s a notice of commencement.
The notice should be after the claimant begins work on the project within 21 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials. If notice of commencement is filed late, notice is due within 21 days of the date the notice of commencement was filed. If the top of the payment chain never files a notice of commencement, no notice of furnishing is necessary.
How should I send my notice in Ohio?
You can send a preliminary notice in Ohio either by sheriff, certified mail, registered mail, overnight deliver, or hand delivery.
In South Carolina, parties contracted with someone other than the property owner must send a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials prior to filing and serving a mechanics lien claim. See: S.C. Code Ann. § 29-5-40
There is no time limit for submitting a notice in South Carolina, but note that the amount recoverable by lien of a remote claimant is limited to the amount owed by the general contractor to the contracting party who hired the remote claimant – so earlier is better.
How should I send my notice of furnishing in South Carolina?
You can send your notice via certified mail in South Carolina.
In South Dakota, sub-subcontractors and material suppliers to suncontractors who wish to secure lien rights must send a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials to protect lien rights if the general contractor has filed a Notice of Project Commencement and posted the location notice on the job site.
If required, the notice is due no later than 60 days after the last date on which the claimant furnished labor and/or materials to the project.
How should I send my notice in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, you can send your preliminary notice via certified mail, registered mail, or via certified mail with return receipt requested.
Notice of Furnishing – In Summary
As you can see, the requirements for each state that requires a notice of furnishing are relatively straightforward. These notices are an important part of every construction project because they foster transparency on the project, let everyone know you’re there, and help you protect your mechanics lien rights.
It’s a good idea to send a notice on every project for these reasons. Otherwise, you could be in trouble in case nonpayment issues arise, unable to file a mechanics lien.
For more helpful information about notices of furnishing and preliminary notices in general, check out some of the pages below:
- Preliminary Notice: Rules, Requirements, & Free Forms of Construction
- Ohio Notice of Furnishing: The Why, Who, What, When, and How
- Michigan Notice of Furnishing: The Why, Who, What, When, and How
- South Dakota Notice of Furnishing Rules & Requirements
- South Carolina Notice of Furnishing – All You Need to Know