Securing your mechanics lien rights is the single most effective way to ensure you get paid what you’ve earned on a construction project. Doing so in Wyoming, and any state for that matter, requires strict compliance with notice and deadline requirements. One notice that’s particularly important in Wyoming is a Notice of Intent – known more specifically as a”Notice of Intention to Lien.” This article will provide all you need to know about sending a Notice of Intent to Lien in Wyoming to secure your mechanics lien rights.
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What is a notice of intent?
A notice of intent (NOI) is a document sent by a potential lien claimant to inform the property owner that you have been unpaid. The purpose of this notice is to provide the owner with one final opportunity to resolve the payment dispute before a lien is filed against their property. Prior to filing a mechanics lien claim in Wyoming, all participants on a private construction project are required to send a notice of intent to lien.
NOIs are typically quite effective to induce payment before having to spend the time and money to file a mechanics lien to get paid. This is true whether an NOI is actually required under your state mechanics lien laws or not.
Wyoming Notice of Intent to Lien
Don’t confuse Wyoming’s NOI requirement with the Wyoming preliminary notice requirements, under which parties must send a Notice of Right to Lien at the beginning of a construction project. (Read more about this document requirement in All You Need to Know About Wyoming’s Preliminary Notice.)
The requirements for a WY NOI can be found under Wyoming Statute §29-2-107; which states that:
“Before filing a lien […] a lien claimant shall send written notice to the record owner or his agent of any claim […] stating the amount of any claim and from whom it is due. This notice shall be sent no later than twenty (20) days prior to filing a lien statement.”
Let’s take a look at the Wyoming Notice of Intent to Lien, and breakdown how to fill out this form, when and how to send it, and how this notice affects your WY mechanics lien rights.
Information needed on a WY NOI
First and foremost, be sure that your notice form has all of the necessary information. It won’t be valid without it. Thankfully, the Wyoming mechanics lien statutes provide precisely what needs to be included in the Notice of Intent to File a Lien. The form should include the following information, at a minimum:
- Owner or agent of the owner’s information
- Claimant’s information
- Hiring party’s information
- Date of the notice
- The amount of the claim
In addition to the required information, it may also prove useful to include a brief description of the labor, services, or materials provided to the project. The form should also include the address or some form of property description as well. The more identifying information you provide to the owner, the better. That way they can quickly identify who you are, what you’ve provided, and who was responsible for paying you.
Sending a Wyoming Notice of Intent
Potential claimants in Wyoming must send this notice to the property owner at least 20 days before filing a mechanics lien claim. This seems pretty straightforward, but it will involve some planning to ensure you don’t miss your lien deadline.
Don’t wait too long to send notice
The time period to file a Wyoming mechanics lien changes depending on whether you contracted directly with the owner or not. General contractors (or those who contracted directly with the owner) have 150 days from either the last date they furnished labor or materials to the project, or the date of substantial completion of the project; whichever is earlier.
For all other claimants, the deadline is 120 days from either the last date they furnished labor or materials to the project, or the date of substantial completion of the project; whichever is earlier.
So the latest a Wyoming contractor or supplier can send a Notice of Intent is:
- Direct contractors: 130 days from last furnishing/substantial completion
- All other claimants: 100 days from last furnishing/substantial completion
However, since the notice must be sent at least 20 days prior to filing, we recommend sending this on the earlier side to ensure you have enough time to file.
How to actually send a Wyoming Notice of Intent to Lien
As far as how to send this notice, the Wyoming statutes are relatively lenient. The requirements state that claimants can send an NOI by any commercial carrier that requests and maintains a receipt for delivery. However, the best practice is to send the NOI by certified mail, with return receipt requested.
In addition to the postal service, notice may also be sent by email under the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, as long as the parties have communicated by email prior to the notice. These notices are deemed to be “served” when it is either deposited in the mail in the proper manner or when the email is sent. That’s when the 20-day clock begins to count.
Forgetting this step or sending this notice too late is fatal to your lien rights. Don’t miss out on protecting your lien rights because you missed the notice deadline!