Louisiana Notice of Commencement
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Louisiana Notice of Contract Overview

Louisiana

Notice of Contract Requirement
None
While Louisiana requires a Notice of Contract to be filed on any project in excess of $100,000, the requirement is generally directed to Prime / General Contractors, not the property owners. However, a Notice of Contract in Louisiana must be signed by the property owner, and since a Notice of Contract can shorten the period for filing a mechanics lien if both a Notice of Contract and Notice of Termination are filed, there are some circumstances in which making sure the Notice of Contract is filed is in the best interest of the property owner.

Louisiana

Notice of Contract Deadline
None
Since the requirement to file the Notice of Contract is directed to the GC by consequence of losing lien rights, there is no deadline by which a property owner must file a Notice of Contract.

Louisiana

Notice of Contract Requirement
None
Construction lenders are not required to file this notice in Louisiana, since the general contractor is the required to file the notice when necessary.

Louisiana

Notice of Contract Deadline
None
Since the requirement to file the Notice of Contract is limited to the GC, there is no deadline by which a construction lender must file a Notice of Contract.

Louisiana

Notice of Contract Requirement
In Louisiana it is required that a GC file a Notice of Contract when the project will exceed $100,000. Failure to file the Notice of Contract extinguishes the contractor's ability to file a mechanics lien to secure payment, and can change the lien deadline for other parties on the project.

Louisiana

Notice of Contract Deadline
Before Work
In Louisiana, when a Notice of Contract is required, it must be filed "before the contractor begins work." Late filing is fatal to the contractor's ability to file a lien.

Overview of the Notice of Contract in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the beginning of a construction project gives rise to certain notice requirements and documents filings. When the total job is bigger than $100,000, a Notice of Contract must be filed by the direct contractor before work begins.

Note: This is a change from historical Louisiana law. Until January 1, 2020, Notices of Contract were required for all projects over $25,000.

Video summary of the Louisiana Notice of Commencement (Notice of Contract)

Watch this short video that explains important Louisiana Notice of Commencement (Notice of Contract) requirements in easy to understand terms.

How the Notice of Contract affects a project

All parties on the project have an interest in the Notice of Contract because it affects everyone’s rights and obligations. For direct contractors, the ability to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien is dependent on the Notice of Contract. If a Notice of Contract is required, but is not appropriately filed, the contractor is not allowed to file a valid mechanics lien. Other parties’ rights are effected by the Notice of Contract, as well.

The deadlines for filing a mechanics lien in Louisiana, if one becomes required, can change depending on whether a Notice of Contract was filed.

If a Notice of Contract was filed

the mechanics lien deadline depends on role:

  • General Contractors: The deadline to lien is 7 months after Substantial Completion. This deadline is shortened to 60 days after a Notice of Termination is filed, if an owner files that notice.
  • Subcontractors, suppliers, etc: The deadline to lien is 6 months after Substantial Completion. This deadline is shortened to 30 days after a Notice of Termination is filed, if an owner files that notice.

If a Notice of Contract was not filed

If it wasn’t filed correctly, all qualifying parties have the same mechanics lien deadline. In the absence of a Notice of Contract, mechanics liens must be filed 60 days after Notice of Termination is filed. If no Notice of Termination is filed, then it’s 60 days after Substantial Completion.

The Notice of Contract Form

While the form itself is not a complex document, the procedural requirements for a Louisiana Notice of Contract can be confusing, and many construction participants have questions about what it is, what it does, and why it’s needed.

Generally speaking, a Notice of Contract is a form that is filed in the public records of the county in which the project is going to occur to let people know that a construction project is beginning. The form contains information identifying the people involved with the project, such as who the property owner and construction lender, and identifies the project itself, such as the type of work being performed and the legal description of the property on which the work is being performed.

In Louisiana, the Notice of Contract requirements are set out by LA R.S. § 9:4811. Louisiana allows for the contract itself to be filed instead of a Notice of Contract as long as the contract contains the required information – including a complete property description of the property, and the name, if any, of the project.

This page provides frequently asked questions, forms, and other helpful information about Louisiana’s Notice of Contract. Read on to learn more about the rules, requirements, and effects of Louisiana’s Notice of Contract.

Louisiana Notice of Commencement FAQs

Louisiana mechanics lien law is complex, including the Notice of Contract requirements and process. Since the Louisiana Notice of Contract has significant consequences for lien liability, deadlines, and even the ability of a contractor to file a valid lien at all, the Notice of Contract has an impact on everybody on the job, and is important to get right. The document provides a benefit to everybody on the project, but many construction participants have questions about it - regardless of their role on the project. Here are some common questions and answers about the Louisiana Notice of Contract rules and requirements.

For Property Owners, Construction Lenders, & Original Contractors

Is a Notice of Contract Required In Louisiana?

Yes, in certain circumstances. When the price of a work of improvement is stipulated or reasonably estimated to exceed $100,000, a Louisiana Notice of Contract must be filed by the direct contractor in order for the contractor to retain any privilege afforded under Louisiana’s Private Works Act.

Note, however, that a specific notice template for a notice of requirement is not required. While certain information must be present on the “notice” in order for it to be effective, if that information is contained within the contract itself, the contract may be filed instead of some different notice document. Legislative comments to Louisiana’s newly modified mechanics lien law state that: “The contract itself, or an abbreviated form of the contract, can be filed rather than a notice of contract, if the document that is filed contains the required information.”

Who files a notice of contract?

In Louisiana, it is the responsibility of the general contractor to file the Notice of Contract – while the statute doesn’t specifically limit the filing to a GC, and a property owner must sign the Notice Contract document – the penalties for failure to timely or properly file a notice of commencement are directed toward GCs, and it is understood Louisiana practice is that the GC must file the Notice of Contract.

Note, however, that Louisiana statutes specifically state that:

“Written notice of a contract between a general contractor and an owner shall be filed as provided in R.S. 9:4831 before the contractor begins work”

Since no party is directly prohibited from filing the Notice of Contract, if all the informational requirements of the notice are met, it appears that a property owner who wishes to use the Notice of Contract coupled with a Notice of Termination to shorten the lien period may file the Notice of Contract.

When must notice of contract be filed?

As noted above, Louisiana law provides that: “”Written notice of a contract between a general contractor and an owner shall be filed as provided in R.S. 9:4831 before the contractor begins work.” [emphasis added]

This timeline is critical, because “[a] general contractor shall not enjoy any privilege arising under this Part if the price of the work stipulated or reasonably estimated in his contract exceeds one hundred thousand dollars unless notice of the contract is timely filed.”

If the job will be greater than $100,000, work has commenced, and no Notice of Contract has been filed, the GC is prohibited from filing a mechanics lien.

How is the notice of contract filed?

Louisiana Notices of Contract must be filed as provided in R.S. 9:4831. This means that the notice must be “filed for registry with the recorder of mortgages of the parish of the location of the immovable upon which work is to be. . .performed.” Pursuant to the filing, the recorder of mortgages then inscribes the notice in the mortgage records the parish.

Comments to the section specify that the filing of the document is the significant time rather than recordation, as is consistent with general law regarding registry. This means that, in the event the Notice of Commencement is filed for registry prior to the beginning of work on the improvement, it should be timely even if the recordation of the Notice of Contract is not accomplished until work has commenced.

Can the property owner appoint a designee within the NOC?

Not really. First, the Notice of Contract in Louisiana is a responsibility of the GC. Second, the information to be contained on a Louisiana Notice of Contract is specifically set forth by statute. A Louisiana Notice of Contract:

“(1) Shall be signed by the owner and contractor.
(2) Shall contain a complete property description of the immovable upon which the work is to be performed and the name, if any, of the project.
(3) Shall identify the parties and give their mailing addresses.
(4) Shall state the price of the work or, if no price is fixed, describe the method by which the price is to be calculated and give an estimate of it.
(5) Shall state when payment of the price is to be made.
(6) Shall describe in general terms the work to be done.”
Louisiana does not provide for an “owner designee” to receive notice for parties otherwise required to receive it, and accordingly, uses the Notice of Contact to provide the names and addresses of the property owner and GC, not any additional parties. 

How does notice of contract affect me?

In several ways.

In order for a sub-tier lien claimant to claim a lien (a “Statement of Claim and Privilege” in Louisiana) they must provide certain notices. Information required on these notices, and contact information for the parties to whom these notices must be given, is to be included on the Notice of Contract. Further, Notices of Contract have an impact on the deadlines by which potential liens must be filed. If a Notice of Contract is not filed, lien claimants have 60 days after completion of the work (or filing of notice of termination) in which to properly file a mechanics lien. If a Notice of Contract is filed, and a corresponding notice of termination is filed at the conclusion of work, that period is shortened to 30 days for sub-tier parties. Additionally, note that if a Notice of Contract is filed and the property owner doesn’t ensure that a Notice of Termination is filed at the conclusion of the project, the lien deadline is extended.

For GCs, specifically, failure to file a Notice of Contract when required (i.e. the project is greater than $100,000) is fatal to lien rights.

Does a Louisiana Notice of Contract expire?

Does the Louisiana notice of contract need to be notarized?

No. Louisiana law provides that a Notice of Contract must merely be “signed by the owner and contractor.” There is no requirement for the notice to be notarized, sworn to, or any else in addition to being signed.

Does the NOC need to be released or terminated?

No, not specifically. However, there is a benefit to filing a Notice of Termination at the end of a project on which a Notice of Contract was filed.

If a Notice of Contract if filed on a project, it actually extends the lien deadline unless a corresponding Notice of Termination is also filed at the conclusion of the project. As noted above, the general deadline to file a mechanics lien in Louisiana is 60 days from the substantial completion of the work. If an NOC and Notice of Termination are filed this period shrinks to 30 days for sub-tier parties.

If, however, the corresponding Notice of Termination is not filed, the lien period is extended to 7 months after substantial completion for GCs and 6 months after substantial completion for everybody else. Believe it or not, this actually closes a loophole in Louisiana law, as previously if an NOC was filed and a Notice of Termination wasn’t the lien period was extended indefinitely.

Additionally, a Cancellation of Notice of Contract is contemplated by Louisiana statutes but is not a required filing.

For Subcontractors & Suppliers

Do subcontractors and/or suppliers need to file a notice of commencement?

No.  The Notice of Contract requirement in Ohio is separate and distinct from any notice requirement of a subcontractor, supplier, or equipment lessor (in Louisiana a “Lessor of moveables”).

Subcontractors and suppliers do not need to file a NOC, but they do have their own separate preliminary notice requirement, some of the required information on which can be found by reliance on the NOC.

 

Does the notice of commencement affect my preliminary notice requirements?

No, not really. However, reliance on the Notice of Contract is allowable with respect to all interested parties when the NOC has reasonably sufficient information, and reliance on the NOC is allowable with respect to the property owner, GC, and surety, even if the information is insufficient.

Does the notice of commencement affect my lien rights?

Kind of. A Notice of Contract doesn’t have any impact on the underlying lien rights of sub-tier participants. If you have a right to file a lien, a Notice of Contract filing (or failure to file a Notice of Contract), is irrelevant to the right itself. However, as described above, a Notice of Contract does impact the deadlines by which a valid mechanics lien must be filed.

Frequently Asked Questions about NOCs on Louisiana Public Jobs

Is there a notice of commencement requirement for Louisiana public projects?

No. The Notice of contract requirement is limited to the Louisiana Private Works Act, and no corresponding requirement exists for public projects.

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Free Louisiana Notice of Commencement Form

Louisiana Notice of Commencement Statutes

Louisiana’s private mechanic’s lien statute, and the Notice of Contract requirement, is found within Louisiana’s Private Works Act, Louisiana Code § 4801 et. seq. The specific rules and requirements regarding Louisiana’s Notice of Contract content and procedures are set forth in § 4811, 4831, 4832, and 4834..

You can read the law directly on the state legislature’s website here, and it is reproduced below.  Further, the above referenced sections are reproduced below. You can see this full statute on our Louisiana Mechanics Lien FAQs page.

Louisiana Notice of Contract Statute

9:4811 - [Effective1/1/2020] Notice of a contract with a general contractor to be filed

A. Written notice of a contract between a general contractor and an owner shall be filed as provided in R.S. 9:4831 before the contractor begins work, as defined by R.S. 9:4820, on the immovable. The notice:

(1) Shall be signed by the owner and contractor.
(2) Shall contain a complete property description of the immovable upon which the work is to be performed and the name, if any, of the project.
(3) Shall identify the parties and give their mailing addresses.
(4) Shall state the price of the work or, if no price is fixed, describe the method by which the price is to be calculated and give an estimate of it.
(5) Shall state when payment of the price is to be made.
(6) Shall describe in general terms the work to be done.
B. A notice of contract is not improperly filed because of an error in or omission from the notice in the absence of a showing of actual prejudice by a claimant or other person acquiring rights in the immovable. An error in or omission of the identity of the parties or their mailing addresses or the improper or insufficient description of the immovable shall be prima facie proof of actual prejudice.
C. A notice of contract is not improperly filed because a proper bond is not attached.
D. A general contractor shall not enjoy any privilege arising under this Part if the price of the work stipulated or reasonably estimated in his contract exceeds one hundred thousand dollars unless notice of the contract is timely filed. A general contractor who is deprived of his privilege by this Subsection shall not be entitled to file a statement of claim or privilege for any amounts due him.
E. Repealed by Acts 2019, No. 325,s. 3.

9:4831 - [Effective1/1/2020] Filing; place of filing; contents

A. The filing of a notice of contract, notice of termination, statement of a claim or privilege, affidavit, or notice of pendency of action required or permitted to be filed under the provisions of this Part is accomplished when it is filed for registry with the recorder of mortgages of the parish of location of the immovable upon which work is to be or has been performed. The recorder of mortgages shall inscribe all such acts in the mortgage records.
B. Each notice of contract, notice of termination of work, affidavit filed in accordance with R.S. 9:4820(C) or 4832(C), and other filing by an owner under this Part shall contain a complete property description of the immovable upon which the work is to be or has been performed. Each other filing under this Part shall contain either a complete property description of the immovable or another reasonable identification of the immovable. A statement of the name of the owner and street address or mailing address of the immovable without more shall not be sufficient to meet the requirements of this Subsection.
C. If the work is evidenced by a notice of contract that contains a complete property description of the immovable, reference in any subsequent filing to the notice of contract, together with its registry number or other appropriate recordation information, shall be sufficient to meet the requirements of Subsection B of this Section. If the work is evidenced by a notice of contract that contains either a complete property description of the immovable or another reasonable identification of the immovable, reference to the notice of contract, together with its registry number or other appropriate recordation information, shall be deemed a reasonable identification of the immovable in a statement of claim or privilege filed under this Part.
D. Reference in a statement of claim or privilege to a notice of contract that does not contain a reasonable identification of the immovable shall not alone be sufficient to preserve the privilege of the claimant against a third person having or acquiring an interest in the immovable but shall nevertheless be sufficient to preserve all rights of the claimant against the owner, the contractor, and his surety.

9:4832 - [Effective1/1/2020] Cancellation of notice of contract

A. The recorder of mortgages shall cancel from his records a notice of contract upon written request of any person made more than thirty days after the filing of a notice of termination of work performed under the contract if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) A statement of claim or privilege with respect to the work was not filed before expiration of the thirty day period.
(2) The request contains or has attached to it the written concurrence of the contractor or a written receipt from the contractor acknowledging payment in full of all amounts due under the contract.
B. If the request for cancellation of a notice of contract does not contain or is not accompanied by the written concurrence or receipt of the contractor, but a statement of claim or privilege was not filed before expiration of the thirty day period, the recorder of mortgages shall cancel the notice of contract as to all claims and privileges except that of the contractor. The recorder of mortgages shall completely cancel the notice of contract from his records upon written request of any person if either of the following conditions is satisfied:

(1) The request is made more than sixty days after the filing of the notice of termination and the contractor did not file a statement of his claim or privilege before expiration of the sixty day period.
(2) The request contains or is accompanied by the written concurrence of or a written receipt from the contractor acknowledging payment in full of all amounts due under the contract.
C. The recorder of mortgages shall immediately cancel a notice of contract if both of the following occur:

(1) A request for cancellation of notice of contract signed by the owner and contractor is filed.
(2) Within four business days after the filing of the request for cancellation, an affidavit made by a qualified inspector is filed to the effect that he inspected the immovable at a specified time subsequent to the filing of the request for cancellation and that work had not then begun, as the beginning of work is defined by R.S. 9:4820.
D. A notice of contract cancelled in accordance with Subsection C of this Section shall have no effect.

9:4834 - [Effective1/1/2020] Notice of contract; cessation of effect, reinscription

The effect of filing a notice of contract ceases five years after it is filed, unless a written notice of its reinscription, in the manner provided for the reinscription of mortgages, is properly and timely filed by an interested person with the recorder of mortgages in whose office the notice of contract is filed. A notice of reinscription may not be filed after the effect of the filing of the notice of the contract has ceased. The effect of reinscription shall cease five years after the notice of reinscription is filed unless a subsequent notice of reinscription is filed within that time.

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