Only a handful of states have a Notice of Intent to Lien requirement, and Arkansas is one of them. And, even among those states, Arkansas has extremely unique rules surrounding Notice of Intent to Lien rues. For one, the state requires what’s a sort of “traditional” NOI requirement. That is, a Notice of Intent to Lien must be sent at least 10 days before the lien is filed. While Notices of Intent to Lien aren’t required in most states, that’s a pretty standard rule among the states which do require them.
However, there’s an additional rule to keep in mind on Arkansas commercial projects – the Notice to Owner and Contractor requirement. To preserve the right to file a mechanics lien, Arkansas claimants hired by someone other than the GC must send this notice on commercial jobs in order to preserve their right to lien. It acts as a sort-of hybrid: It’s not a preliminary notice since it’s sent after work has concluded, but it’s also not quite a Notice of Intent to Lien. The Notice to Owner and Contractor must be sent within 75 days after last furnishing labor or materials to the job site.
It can be a bit confusing, but it’s important to get this process right. Otherwise, mechanics lien rights will be lost. While it’s not always easy for your back office to keep these requirements straight, using an online platform to send these documents can take a lot of headache out of compliance.
Below, we’ve shared some common questions and answers regarding the Arkansas Notice of Intent requirements.
When must an Arkansas Notice of Intent to Lien be sent?
An Arkansas Notice of Intent to Lien must be served at least 10 days before filing an Arkansas mechanics lien.
The deadline to file a lien in Arkansas is no later than 120 days from the claimant’s last date of furnishing labor and/or materials to the project. Thus, the latest an NOI can be served is 110 days from the last date of furnishing. But it’s best not to wait until the last minute; as sending this document won’t extend lien deadlines – that means Arkansas claimants should plan accordingly and build in some time before their deadline to send the notice.
Who needs to receive an Arkansas Notice of Intent to Lien?
The Arkansas Notice of Intent to Lien is only required to be served on the property owner or their agent. However, it may be a good idea to send a copy to the general contractor as well to give your payment dispute full visibility on the project.
What information should be included in an Arkansas NOI?
There isn’t much information required on an Arkansas Notice of Intent to Lien. Arkansas Code §18-44-114, he statute only requires that the notice state that the claimant “holds a claim against the building or improvement, setting forth the amount and from whom it is due.” However, the more information provided, the better. Thus, we recommend including the following information:
• Owner’s name & address;
• Hiring party’s name & address;
• Claimant’s name & address;
• Property description;
• Brief description of labor and/or materials provided; &
• The first and last dates labor and/or materials were provided on the project.
How should the Notice of Intent to Lien be sent in Arkansas?
The Notice of Intent to Lien and may be given by personal service, or by certified mail with restricted delivery and return receipt requested. Further, they may also be sent by any means that provides third-party verification of delivery (like an overnight delivery service).
Note: If the notice is returned refused or undelivered, the notice must be sent immediately by first-class mail to the owner’s address. The returned notice marked unclaimed or refused by the USPS will serve as evidence of proof of service on the date the original notice was postmarked.
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Arkansas is home to some extremely complex mechanics lien laws, and that’s in large part due to its Notice of Intent to Lien requirements. You can find the most relevant section of the Arkansas lien statute below, or you can read the lien statute in full here (after scrolling down a bit): Arkansas Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs. Updated as of 2022.
Arkansas Notice of Intent Statute
§ 18-44-114. Notice and service generally
(a) Every person who may wish to avail himself or herself of the benefit of the provisions of this subchapter shall give ten (10) days’ notice before the filing of the lien, as required in § 18-44-117(a), to the owner of a building or improvement that he or she holds a claim against the building or improvement, setting forth the amount and from whom it is due.
(1) The notice may be served by any:
(A) Officer authorized by law to serve process in a civil action;
(B) Person who would be a competent witness;
(C) Form of mail addressed to the person to be served, with a return receipt requested and delivery restricted to the addressee or the agent of the addressee; or
(D) Means that provides written, third-party verification of delivery at any place where the owner of the building or improvement maintains an office, conducts business, or resides.
(i) When served by an officer, his or her official return endorsed on the notice shall be proof of the service.
(ii) When served by any other person, the fact of the service shall be verified by affidavit of the person serving the notice.
(i) When served by mail, the service shall be:
(a) Complete when mailed; and
(b) Verified by a return receipt signed by the addressee or the agent of the addressee, or a returned envelope, postal document, or affidavit by a postal employee reciting or showing refusal of the notice by the addressee or that the item was unclaimed.
(ii) If delivery of the mailed notice is refused by the addressee or the item is unclaimed:
(a) The lien claimant shall immediately send the owner of the building or improvement a copy of the notice by first class mail and may proceed to file his or her lien; and
(b) The unopened original of the item marked unclaimed or refused by the United States Postal Service shall be accepted as proof of service as of the postmarked date of the item.