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Can I send a Notice of Intent?

MichiganNotice of Intent to Lien

I am a retired Licensed Builder, in the state of Michigan. I currently operate as a Handyman service. Recently, a friend of a friend recommeded me to repair an "old crooked wooden fence eyesore" and install new adjoining wooden fence to be close in appearance. Homeowner bought most of materials, (not all) and paid for all required rental equipment. I didn't really require a up front deposit of 50% ("friend"/trust???), but my friend suggested to homeowner it would be best, which I appreciated. Many unforseen problems with out of alignment wooden older fence, but it was corrected to homeowners satisfaction, before starting newer thicker wooden fence install, Spent more time and labor on older wooden fence. Before, completing "older wooden fence" homeower requested additional home repair/maintenance services, because they appreciated my attention to details. On November 28, 2020, we ( included two helpers) completed all work as requested. Homeowner provided me with a check for the work "we" had completed. The Problem was that the check was for the original estimated balance, plus $200.00... that homeower "hoped would make me happy", she states. I told the homeowner that I had not determined the final balance of additional requested services, and would advise accordinngly. Homeowner, was not happy, that I had not cashed the check, after a few days. Even after I submitted Final Balance including every thing, viaDirect Message to cellphone, with some "No Charge concessions". Homeowner stops payment on original check and remits Cashier check for the same amount. I didn't discover this until after the Holidays, thinking homeowner had included a little "extra to make me happy", again. Homeowner refuses now to respond to Direct Message via her cellphone, So, I sent a 5 page Notice to Set the Record Straight (Certified). Homeowner responds, with copy to attorney, saying I was threatening to: 1.) file a Mechanics Lien/Small claim court 2.) she would call City Inspection ( ignoring the fact that I told about inspections. that she refused) 3.) I am unlicensed and require a written contract ($600.00 or less) 4.) Saying that she "hope that would clear up thematter". Q: How would this matter be view via Michigan House Bill 4282? More specific details can be provided. Respectfully, AAA+ProHanDyHanDs Hjean Williams, Executive Project Manager 3900 Hammerberg Road - Suite 329 Flint, Michigan 48507

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Feb 23, 2021
Acknowledgement of Michigan House Bill 4282: House Bill 4282 (H-1) would amend the Occupational Code to do the following: -- Raise from $600 to $4,000 the maximum price of a contract under which a person may work without being licensed as a residential builder or residential maintenance and alteration contractor. -- Require an applicant for initial licensure as a residential maintenance and alteration contractor to complete five hours of courses pertinent to his or her craft or trade in order to obtain the license, subject to certain exceptions. Under the bill, this exception would apply if the aggregate contract price were $4,000 or less.
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Feb 26, 2021

It appears that HB4282 was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives, but has not yet been passed by the Senate or signed into law. You can read more about the bill here. Accordingly, the bill has no bearing on current or completed projects, and projects in excess of $600 must be completed by a contractor licensed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This license can either be a Residential Builders license or a Maintenance & Alteration license (which allows for only certain specific work). 

However, in Michigan, a notice of intent to lien is a completely voluntary and non-required document, similar to a demand letter. A notice of intent to lien doesn't impact or encumber the property itself, so there is generally little risk in sending that type of document, and a party can elect to send one whenever they want. However, the benefit of sending a notice of intent to lien is that it harnesses the power of a mechanics lien to get the party paid. In the event that the property owner has already established that s/he thinks that the work needed to be licensed, such that a mechanics lien would be inapppopriate, it is probably unlikely that sending the notice would result in payment. 

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