Wyoming preliminary notices are required from all project participants on every private construction projects within the state. Anyone who fails to comply with these requirements will lose their ability to file a valid mechanics lien for non-payment. This guide will breakdown all you need to know to successfully send a Wyoming preliminary notice and ensure you get paid what you’ve earned.
Wyoming preliminary notice scheme
The Wyoming lien statutes have clear and specific rules regarding preliminary notices on private construction projects. Not only that, but the process is straightforward and fair to all parties. There are two notices that must be sent before filing a mechanics lien statement; (1) Notice of Right to Lien, and (2) Notice of Intent to Lien. Complying with these notice requirements is not only crucial to secure your mechanics lien rights, but they are a great to promote visibility and increase your chances of getting paid on time.
Wyoming Notice of Right to Lien
The first type of notice required on private construction projects within the state is a Notice to Owner. An interesting aspect of Wyoming lien law is that a Notice to Owner is required to be sent by everyone on the project, including the general contractor. Failing to send this notice will automatically extinguish any right to file a mechanics lien. Let’s breakdown all the specific requirements that need to be met to send a valid Notice of Right to Lien.
What needs to be included on a Wyoming Notice of Right to Lien
One of the main purposes of this notice is to inform the owner of how a potential lien can arise, and offer them the information and forms to avoid them. In order to serve as a valid notice, there needs to be the required language and certain information. The notice language is as follows:
The undersigned party is providing work our materials to the property described below. Failure of payment due and owing to a contractor, subcontractors or materialman for work performed or materials provided to the project located on the property can result in the filing of a lien against the property. To avoid this result, when paying for labor and materials you may ask the contractor, subcontractor, or materialman for “lien waivers” from all persons supplying materials or services. Failure to secure lien waivers may result in you paying for labor or materials twice. A form of lien waiver is attached to this notice.
As you may have guessed by reading that paragraph, a blank lien waiver form should be included in the Notice of Right to Lien; which can be very useful to owners contracting construction work for the first time. As far as what information needs to be included in the notice; this includes: the claimant’s information, the labor and materials provided, the address of the property, a legal description of the property, and it must be signed and dated. Once all this has been filled in as accurately as possible, you are ready to send the Notice of Right to Lien.
How to send a Notice of Right to Lien
When it comes to how notice must be sent, Wyoming law is rather lenient. The notice can be sent by mail, transmission, or any other usual means of communication. That means going to the post office, sending a fax, or even an email is sufficient to satisfy the service requirement. In terms of mailing, this can be done by first class, registered, or certified mail, as long as you have some receipt of delivery. If you decide to go the digital route, email is only acceptable if the sender and the recipient have previously communicated by electronic means. Once the notice is dropped in the mailbox, or sent from your computer, the notice is considered delivered.
Prime contractor notice requirements
As mentioned above, Wyoming is somewhat unique as it requires a prime contractor to send a notice to the owner, even though they’ve contracted directly with them. Notice from the prime contractor needs to be sent before receiving any payments from the property owner. This includes any payments made in advance. Any time you sign a new construction contract in Wyoming, do not accept any payments until you’ve sent the owner a Notice of Right to Lien.
This must be served as a separate document. Many times GC’s will ask us if they can include the notice in the contract terms themselves; see: Can a right to lien statement in the contract serve as a preliminary notice? The short answer is no.
In addition to this, the prime contractor is also required to provide some information to any subcontractors or suppliers on the project. The prime contractor must provide the name and address of the owner and a legal description of the property.
This requirement is incredibly helpful for lower-tier project participants. Tracking down the owner’s information and the legal description of the property is one of the major hurdles facing potential lien claimants. By requiring this information in advance, the guesswork is taken out of the lien process.
Subcontractor and supplier notice requirements
As for a subcontractor or supplier (materialman), they must provide notice to the property owner and send a copy of the notice to the prime contractor. However, the timing is a bit different. These parties are required to send notice within 30 days after first providing services or materials to the project. This is 30 days from first furnishing labor or materials, it’s not when you signed the contract, our sent an invoice.
This problem has come up in our Expert Center before: Can you send a preliminary notice to cover work done for a specific invoice? That way, the property owner knows who is on the project, and who to request lien waivers from.
There is one other important thing that subcontractors in Wyoming need to keep in mind. If you have provided labor or materials but over 180 days pass between the first furnishing and the next work or delivery, you’ll need send another notice. Wyoming lien law considers the later work as part of a new contract, and therefore requires a new notice to secure lien rights.
Notice of Intent to Lien requirements
The second notice that’s required on Wyoming private construction projects is a Notice of Intent to Lien. The requirements regarding this notice are much simpler. Basically, anyone who is planning on filing a mechanics lien must send a Notice of Intent beforehand. This should be sent to the owner at least 20 days before filing. It should be sent in the same manner as a Notice of Right to Lien.
What information is needed?
Just like the Notice of Lien Rights, the statute provides for the specific language that must be included. The notice must be in substantially the following form:
You are hereby notified pursuant to W.S. §29-2-107 that [claimant] intends to file a lien against your property. The amount of the lien claim is [$_ ]. This amount is due from [hiring party] pursuant to a contract with the lien claimant under which the lien claimant performed work or supplied materials for the work. If we are unable to resolve this matter within twenty (20) days from the date of this notice, the lien claimant intends to file the lien statement asserting a lien against your property.
That’s it. Preliminary notices offer a number of benefits, but most importantly they are required to secure your right to file a mechanics lien on private projects. No one walks on to a job expecting to deal with payment issues, but they do come up. However, as long as you follow all of these Wyoming preliminary notice requirements, you’ve set yourself up for payment security.