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Can I send a preliminary notice early in Washington?

WashingtonPreliminary Notice

I am a subcontractor working on commercial projects in Washington. I know that preliminary notices must be delivered within 60 days of the first date labor or materials furnished. Can I send the preliminary notice before the job starts, or does it have to be sent after the first date on the job?

1 reply

May 2, 2018
That's a good question - and it's one we get pretty often at the Construction Legal Center. Under RCW § 60.04.031, preliminary notice "may be given at any time but only protects the right to claim a lien for professional services, materials, or equipment supplied" 60 days before the notice is made. Thus, it appears that, once a contract has been executed, a Washington preliminary notice would be effective whenever sent - even if that's prior to any work beginning. It's also worth noting that, for new construction projects for single family residences, the deadline for notice is shortened to only 10 days - so sending early notice on those projects would certainly make a lot of sense.
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