Alaska Notice of Completion FAQs

Filing a preliminary notice can protect the lien deadline for contractors and suppliers in Alaska.

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How does a notice of completion work in Alaska?

A notice of completion is a voluntary document filed by a property owner that signifies the end of a construction project. In Alaska, the filing of a notice of completion can affect certain deadlines for contractors, subs, and suppliers on a job. Notably, it significantly shortens the timeline to file a non-payment claim on that project. 

Normally, Alaska’s mechanics lien laws give unpaid claimants 120 days to file a lien after completing the contract, or the last day of furnishing. However, if the property owner files a notice of completion, that 120-day window shrinks to just 15 days from the date the notice was filed. That is one of the most severe deadline changes among states that allow notices of completion.

If a notice of completion is filed, but you haven’t received payment for the work or materials you provided, you have just 15 days to file a mechanics lien in Alaska.

Aside from sharply reducing the lien deadline, a notice of completion doesn’t affect anything else. Once a contractor files a lien, they have the same 6 month period to enforce it. Additionally, a claimant can file a Notice of Extension to receive the additional 6-month period before needing to enforce it.

Preliminary notices provide extra protection

A notice of completion reduces the deadline for everyone who worked on a project — that is, everyone who didn’t take appropriate action to protect their lien rights.

Anyone who sends a notice of right to lien prior to the date the notice of completion is filed (or within 15 days after it is filed) has a special advantage. The property owner must notify these parties at least five (5) days prior to recording the completion notice, giving claimants additional time to prepare their claim. If the owner fails to give this advanced warning, the party’s original 120 day deadline is restored.

If a contractor, sub, or supplier records the notice of right to lien with the borough’s recording office, then their 120 day deadline is unaffected by a notice of completion. That is, as long as they file the notice before the 15-day window is closed.

As a result, it is in everyone’s best interest to send a preliminary notice to the property owner before starting work on a project.

Alaska Notice of Completion FAQs

There is a lot of information to digest about notices of completion in Alaska, so a Q&A-style breakdown might be the easiest to follow. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Alaska’s notice of completion rules, requirements, and implications.

FAQs for Property Owners & Contractors

Is a notice of completion required in Alaska?

In all of the states where they are used, filing a notice of completion is voluntary. This means that the property owner is not required to file the notice at the end of the project.

Should the owner choose not to file this notice, the deadline for any unpaid contractors to file a mechanics lien in Alaska stays at 120 days (6 months).

How does a notice of completion affect construction projects in Alaska?

When a notice of completion is filed on a project in Alaska, the deadline for some potential claimants to file a mechanics lien is reduced from 120 days to just 15 days from the date the notice was filed.

If a contractor sends a preliminary notice (also known as a notice of right to lien), Alaska statute requires the property owner to give the contractor 5 days’ notice before they can file the notice of completion.

However, if the contractor files a notice of right to lien with the recorder’s office previous to the filing of the notice of completion, or within the 15-day window immediately following the notice of completion filing, the deadline remains at the 120-day mark.

Essentially, filing a notice of right to lien protects the unpaid contractor, sub, or suppliers from the 15-day window. Even if they haven’t filed the notice of right to lien prior to the filing of the Notice of Completion, they have 15 days to do so to revert the deadline back to the original 120 days.

However, if a contractor, sub, or supplier simply serves a notice of right to lien on a property owner, they have no protection against the notice of completion other than the fact that the project owner must send 5 days’ notice before filing the notice of completion.

Who is required to record a notice of completion?

Generally, only the owner or owner’s agent can file a notice of completion. The notice itself must be signed and verified by the property owner in order to be valid.

Where is a notice of completion filed in Alaska?

Property owners must file an Alaska notice of completion in the office of the recorder of the district in which the real property is situated.

View all borough recording offices in Alaska

How can I find out if a notice of completion was filed?

Because documents filed with the recording office are public record, anyone can request whether a notice of completion was filed on a project. But that would require you to visit or call the office ever day to check. There’s an easier way to find out.

Alaska’s notice of completion laws require property owners to give anyone who sent a preliminary notice 5 days’ warning before filing the notice of completion.

And if you file a notice of lien rights with the recording office within the deadline, your original 120-day lien deadline is not affected by a notice of completion.

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Free Alaska Forms

Alaska Notice of Completion Form - free from

Alaska Notice of Completion Form

The Alaska Notice of Completion form is generally recorded at the completion of work on a construction project. The notice must be served on any...

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Alaska Notice of Right to Lien Form - free from

Alaska Notice of Right to Lien Form

Fill out the fields to download the free Alaska Notice of Right to Lien Form. This form may be used by any party on a...

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Alaska Lien Waivers Statutes

The provision of the Alaska statutes that permit the filing of Notice of Completion can be found under Alaska Statutes §34.35.07 and is reproduced below. Updated as of September 2021.

AK Notice of Completion

§ 34.35.071. Notice of completion.

(a) The owner of real property that may be subject to a lien under AS 34.35.050 – 34.35.120 may announce the date of completion of the project by

(1) recording a notice of completion after completion of the project in the office of the recorder of the district in which the real property is situated; and

(2) giving notice at least five days before the recording of the notice of completion to all claimants who have given a notice of right to lien or a stop-lending notice to the owner and the lender prior to 10 days before recording a notice of completion; the notice must include a copy of the notice of completion and a statement advising claimants that a notice of completion will be recorded not earlier than five days after the date of the notice.

(b) The notice of completion shall be signed and verified by the owner, and must state

(1) the date of completion of the building or other improvement;

(2) the name and address of the owner;

(3) the nature of the interest or estate of the owner;

(4) the legal description of the property sufficient for identification; and

(5) the name of the general contractor.

(c)[Repealed, Sec. 9 ch 61 SLA 1979].

(d) A notice of completion is not effective if recorded before completion.

(e) Labor, materials, services, or equipment furnished after a notice of completion is recorded to satisfy warranty obligations or to remedy defective or unsatisfactory construction, alterations, or repairs for which no additional consideration is owed to the person furnishing the additional labor, materials, services, or equipment does not result in lien liability under AS 34.35.050 – 34.35.120.

(f) After recording a common interest community declaration under AS 34.08, an owner may record a notice of completion under this section as to each unit after completion of the original construction of each unit of the common interest community.

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