North Dakota requires a Notice of Intent to Lien be sent before a lien claim can be filed, making it one of only a handful of states with a Notice of Intent to Lien requirement. In North Dakota, all claimants must send a Notice of Intent prior to pursuing a mechanics lien claim. That requirement is created at § 35-27-02 of North Dakota’s lien statute. Pursuant to that section, a Notice of Intent must be sent at least 10 days before a lien can be filed. And, to be sure, that notice won’t extend the lien deadline.
A Notice of Intent to Lien is more than just another requirement, though. Rather, it’s a powerful recovery tool all by itself. Because mechanics liens can lead to such drastic outcomes, the threat of a lien claim will usually get the attention of the owner, which should help resolve the payment dispute. Plus, since it’s a required part of the North Dakota mechanics lien process, recipients will know that the next step may be to file a lien.
Notice requirements help to make sure lien disputes don’t get out of hand, but they also create some hoops a claimant will have to jump through in order to preserve the right to lien. So, it’s important to pay attention to the details – most of which we’ll discuss below. And, keep in mind that using an online platform for sending notices can make life a lot easier to stay in compliance.
Below are some common questions and answers relating to North Dakota’s Notice of Intent to Lien requirements.
The statute states that the notice must be “given to the owner…at least ten days” before the lien is filed. So, it may be safest to assume the notice must be received by recipients 10 days before the lien is filed, not just sent.
Which parties must receive a North Dakota Notice of Intent to Lien?
The property owner must receive a Notice of Intent to Lien.
Additionally, it’d likely be helpful to make sure other top-of-chain parties – like the GC, lender, project manager, etc. – receive the notice, too. That way, everyone’s aware of the payment issue and can help to find a resolution.
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North Dakota’s mechanics lien statute can be found at § 35-27-01, et seq., and you can read it here: North Dakota Mechanics Lien Guide, FAQs, and Statute. The rules for North Dakota Notices of Intent to Lien can be found at § 35-27-02, which is reproduced below.
§ 35-27-02. Persons Entitled to Construction Lien - Notice
Any person that improves real estate, whether under contract with the owner of such real estate or under contract with any agent, trustee, contractor, or subcontractor of the owner, has a lien upon the improvement and upon the land on which the improvement is situated or to which the improvement may be removed for the price or value of such contribution. Provided, however, that the amount of the lien is only for the difference between the price paid by the owner or agent and the price or value of the contribution. If the owner or agent has paid the full price or value of the contribution, no lien is allowed. Provided further that if the owner or an agent of the owner has received a waiver of lien signed by the person that improves the real estate, a lien is not allowed. Any person that extends credit or makes a contract with any agent, trustee, contractor, or subcontractor of the owner for the improvement of real estate, upon demand, has the right to request and secure evidence of the legal description of the real estate upon which the improvement is located, including the name of the title owner of the real estate. Written notice that a lien will be claimed must be given to the owner of the real estate by certified mail at least ten days before the recording of the construction lien.