What is a Notice of Intent to Lien?

A notice of intent to lien (NOI) – sometimes called an intent notice or notice of non-payment – warns the property owner, prime contractor and/or other party that a mechanics lien or bond claim will be filed unless payment of overdue amounts is made within a certain period of time (i.e. 10 days). Although only legally required in a few states, there are benefits to sending these notices for projects in any state, as they are inexpensive and very effective at producing payment.

In some states and scenarios on private construction projects, notices of intent must be sent before a party is allowed to file a mechanics lien. There are no notice of intent requirements on state, federal, and other public works. The states requiring these notices are listed here:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Although notices of intent to lien are formally required in only 10 states, there are proven benefits to sending these notices on other accounts with an unpaid balance. In many ways, a notice of intent to lien can be a replacement for a demand letter or dunning letter, except that NOIs have the extra benefit of being relevant to parties other than the debtor and carry more overall weight. This results in demanding more attention and producing more success.

According to research by Levelset, 47% of NOIs produce payment within just twenty days of delivery – all without any further collection efforts or legal action. Many Levelset users have watched that success number increase to over 90% when examining a longer post-notice period, such as 90 days.

The notice of intent to lien tool is a perfect pressure release valve for the construction industry, which is notorious for payment abuses, delays, and working capital challenges. A survey by Construction Enquirer of more than 900 subcontracting firms found that more than half (50.4%) said they had to recently resort to legal action to get their bills paid. That’s an enormous statistic. And the success of notice of intent to lien claims appears to be a perfect antidote to the industry’s payment woes.

Additionally, notices of intent to lien delivers can salvage important business relationships that are at risk. It’s common that delayed payment or non-payment is related to a communication problem on the project, or something simple. A properly delivered notice of intent to lien document notifies key project stakeholders of a payment problem they may not otherwise know exists, and gives all parties an opportunity to resolve the problem before a more adversarial lien claim is filed.

Levelset makes sending Notice of Intent to Lien documents easy. We routinely deliver thousands of NOIs on construction projects across the country. Further, Levelset’s NOIs are engineered to succeed at producing payment and encouraging critical communication, which explains why users who implement and execute a NOI policy through Levelset’s platform commonly see payment success on NOIs in a vast majority of deliveries.

Map of Notice of Intent to Lien Requirements

Is Notice of Intent required in your state? While there are benefits to sending NOIs wherever you are, the United States map below will give you an answer at a quick glance to if your state requires it. Explore our notice resources more fully, which includes thousands of forms, charts, blog articles, and more, by clicking on the state your interested in learning more about below.

  • NOI Not Required
  • NOI Required

Frequently Asked Questions about Notices of Intent to Lien

This document can be pretty easily misunderstood, and is frequently confused with other construction notice documents. When you're unpaid on a job, the last stress you need is trying to figure out the finer details of which type of notice to send, and how. So, here are some frequently asked questions that can help.

What is a notice of intent to lien?

A Notice of Intent to Lien is a document sent to warn the recipient that there is a problem with a payment, and that a lien will be filed if the dispute is not resolved.

When should I send a Notice of Intent?

A Notice of Intent is typically sent after a preliminary notice and before a lien is filed. When required, the deadline to send a Notice of Intent is measured backwards from the lien filing date.

Is sending a Notice of Intent required?

Sending Notice of Intent before filing a lien is required in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. When not required, sending this notice can be incredibly effective at getting the noticing party paid.

What does the general contractor do with this notice?

This notice informs the GC of your claim so they can attempt to resolve the dispute before a lien is filed. This is helpful for the GC if they don't know you haven't been paid, and to help them avoid lien filings on their job.

Why should I send one?

Sending Notice of Intent is an incredibly effective tool for getting paid. In some states, it is required to protect lien rights.

Will a NOI be effective?

Levelset data shows that more than 47% of NOIs are paid within 20 days of delivery. Levelset users with NOI policies see 90% of NOIs paid within 90 days.

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Recent Questions & Answers about Notices of Intent to Lien

can I file a mechanics Lein if I'm not a licenced contractor and had only verbal agreement?

Thank you for the answer…if you could answer one more question for me. I am not a licenced contractor. I was doing so.e work for...

I am a carpenter (sub contractor) who has been working for a GC in Texas. We (crew members), are frequently treated as employees, i.e. told when-what-where we are working and what jobs we are performing. We don’t sign any contracts for work to be performed or what the timeline is, contrary to a “normal” sub contractor to contractor agreement. The owner (GC) makes these decisions and contractual agreements with the client. We are however required to turn in a weekly invoice with our names (as our own company) and hours worked on said project. I have been working on an assigned project for a couple months that went over budget for a multitude of reasons. In good faith I turned in less hours than actually worked to keep budget in mind, and spent money on my personal debit card for materials to perform the task. I have detailed receipts. I have been using my own residence/electricity, etc. to work on said project. Once the project went over budget the GC informed me he would not only not pay me hours worked, but would not refund my detailed receipts showing they were all solely for the job and not personal expenses. I’ve informed the owner of the company (GC) I am not after anything but pay for my time and personal expenses. I don’t want this to effect the homeowner, just want to be compensated and move on with my life. I notified him of my last invoice on 9/11/19 as was told the next day he would send to his lawyer and hit me with a lien, which I’ve yet to see. I’ve spent almost two weeks from initial dispute stressed, confused, and countless hours on how to proceed. Please help.

I am a carpenter (sub contractor) who has been working for a GC in Texas. We (crew members), are frequently treated as employees, i.e. told...

Hello, I did rent a shop as a individual and as a general contractor did all the tenant improvement myself with a help of other contractors such as Electrician, AC engineer, Plumber and some labor workers, in all i spent about $60,000 on this project, After completion i was informed at this location has a legal use which can not be used for the business i had in mind, Landlord accept the responsibility and willing to cancel the long term lease but when i asked for the money i spent for tenant improvement he refused to pay, now i am considering to use my right as a general contractor and the person who did all the work to file a mechanic's lien against the landlord and his property, am i right to do so?

Hello, I did rent a shop as a individual and as a general contractor did all the tenant improvement myself with a help of other...

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Video - What Is A Notice of Intent to Lien?

This page has a lot of information. You may find this short video helpful as a summary of everything you really need to know about notices of intent to lien.

Should I Send A Notice of Intent to Lien?

Is Sending It Required?

In some states, contractors and suppliers are required to deliver a notice of intent to lien before filing the mechanics lien statement: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all require NOIs.

However, even when sending a notice of intent is not required, it can be incredibly effective at producing payment.

Do I Have Time?

When required, notices of intent to lien should typically be sent 10 to 30 days before filing a lien. Note that sending a notice of intent does not delay or extend your mechanics lien deadline.

If you’re in a state that does not require that you send a NOI, make sure you understand when your mechanics lien deadline expires and that there’s enough time before the deadline to send the notice of intent.

Will It Make A Difference?

Sending a notice of intent to lien is usually an effective way of get paid without incurring the expensive and trouble of filing a mechanics lien. Your customers will also appreciate having the option to resolve a dispute before a lien is filed.

If the notice of intent to lien does not work, the option to file a mechanics lien is still available.

Have A Payment Problem & Not Sure What To Do?

If you’re having trouble getting paid on a construction project and aren’t sure whether you need a notice of intent, a preliminary notice, or if it’s just time to file a mechanics lien — we can help!  Start putting in your information below into our Payment Problem Advisor, and let’s get started in getting you the advice and help you need to get paid fast.

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What did you contribute to the job? (select all that apply)
When did you work on the project?

If you don't know these dates, give your best estimate. Since these dates determine your notice and lien deadlines, it's important to be as accurate as possible.

Did you fulfill this project's notice requirements?

Did you send a {document type} to the {contractor role}
and general contractor by {deadline date}?

Did you send monthly notices for this project?

In Texas, subcontractors and suppliers are required to send a notice for each month that work is performed and unpaid. Based on your project type and role, your job has the following notice requirements. Did you fulfill this notice requirement?

What is my job's monthly notice requirement?

For subcontractors on residential proejcts, notice is required to be sent to the owner and prime contractor by the 15th day of the 2nd month following each month that work was performed and unpaid.

What is my job's monthly notice requirement?

For subcontractors on non-residential projects, notice is required to be sent by the 15th day of the 3rd month following each month work was performed and unpaid.

What is my job's monthly notice requirement?

For sub-subcontractors, notice is required to be sent on both the 15th day of the 2nd month, and the 15th day of the 3rd month following each month in which work was performed and unpaid.

What is my job's monthly notice requirement?

For suppliers on residential projects, notice is required to be sent to the owner and prime contractor by the 15th day of the 2nd month following each month that work was performed and unpaid.

What is my job's monthly notice requirement?

For suppliers on non-residential projects, notice is required to be sent both the 15th day of the 2nd month, and the 15th day of the 3rd month following each month in which work was performed and unpaid. (The 2nd month notice has to be sent only to the prime contractor.)

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Your custom recommendation is based on your project information:

Your company is a {contractor role} hired by the {hiring role} on a {project type} project at {project address}

You did not send a {document type} before {deadline date}. Need to send a preliminary notice by {deadline date}.

Free Notice of Intent to Lien Forms

In some states (like the ones indicated on this map), the Notice of Intent to Lien document is a legally required notice with specific requirements. You’ll want to make sure you’re using the right form for your project if you’re in one of these states. Otherwise, you can use any general NOI form, although it’s beneficial to use these free document templates provided by Levelset.  Levelset’s forms are always free, and are created by construction attorneys and payment experts.  Specifically with the NOI documents, these documents are engineered and A/B tested to get the best responses and highest pay rates.

Virginia Notice of Intent to Lien Form - free from

Virginia Notice of Intent to Lien Form

This Notice of Intent to Lien form can be downloaded and used to help speed up payment on a construction project in va. Even though...

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Washington Notice of Intent to Lien Form - free from

Washington Notice of Intent to Lien Form

This Notice of Intent to Lien form can be downloaded and used to help speed up payment on a construction project in wa. Even though...

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