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Can I always use Florida forms for communicating our lien rights?

WashingtonMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

We are based in Florida but currently have a job in Washington state. The NTO I sent was a Florida form and now the Spokane airport has paid the GC, but prompt payment has not been issued to us (sub-subcontractor). The only property we can lien in the airport, even though they have paid, but I want to make sure 1. we are legally able to since I filed NTO on a Florida form and 2. which intent form to send the airport - the Florida one or the Washington state one, since the Florida NTO was filed.

1 reply

Apr 6, 2018
It's important to note that the mechanics lien laws of the state where the project is located are the ones that will apply. Thus, if a claimant is located in another state, they will still have to abide by the lien laws of the state where the project is taking place. Washington also requires preliminary notice, and interestingly enough, their form is also called a Notice to Owner. Anyway, while Washington statute sets out a form for this notice, the statute appears to allow for a form that contains at least the same information required and is in substantially the following form as the NTO provided by Washington statute. Of course, there is serious question whether utilizing the notice form of one state will be effective in another state (even when there appears to be some leniency on form) - but it's not impossible. Anyway, regarding a Notice of Intent to Lien: an Notice of Intent is not a required document in Washington - but it's still an effective one. Since there's not a required form, theoretically, any Notice of Intent form may be sent. But it would be wise to make sure that any state-specific information on such an Notice of Intent refers to the state where the project is located.
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