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Every state has different mechanics lien laws and notice requirements for those filing a mechanics lien. Some states, like New York, have no notice requirements at all. Many states, including California and Arizona, have preliminary notices that are required to be delivered at the onset of a construction project. Other states, like Colorado and Pennsylvania, require that a “notice of intent to lien” be filed after labor or materials have been furnished on a construction project.
Wisconsin, as we noted in a recent “5 Things to Know” post, is interesting because it requires both a preliminary notice, and a “notice of intent to lien” to be filed prior to filing a mechanics lien. The preliminary notice is to be sent at the beginning of furnishing,while the “notice of Intent to lien” is to be filed after work has been formed, but prior to filing the mechanics lien. These notices are required to be sent by anyone in Wisconsin who wishes to preserve their right to file a mechanics lien. Wisconsin offers broad protection to participants in construction projects, and many are afforded the right to file a lien.
The Preliminary Notice
On most projects, subcontractors and material suppliers must send the preliminary notice to the property owner within 60 days of the first date that the claimant furnished labor or materials to the project. General contractors have a shorter time period to deliver the preliminary notice to the owner. They are to either provide the preliminary notice to the owner in the contract, or within 10 days of first furnishing work on the project.
While it may not be explicitly required to deliver the preliminary notice on commercial projects in Wisconsin, it is best practice to send the preliminary notice on these projects to best preserve your lien rights, and to let other parties know you’re on the job.
The Notice of Intent to File a Claim of Lien
The Notice of Intent to File a Claim of Lien is required to be sent by all parties who wish to file a mechanics lien. The Notice of Intent to File a Claim of Lien must be sent 30 days prior to filing the Claim of Lien itself.
In Wisconsin, the Claim of Lien must be filed within 6 months of the last date the claimant furnished labor or materials to the project. Sending the Notice of Intent to File a Claim of Lien does not extend the deadline to file the lien, so this notice must be sent within 5 months of the last date the claimant furnished labor or materials to the project.