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Can I still file a prelim?

ArizonaLien DeadlinesNotice of Intent to Lien

I am a subcontractor that is currently working on a project that is upwards of $1 million. We have been on site for a little more than 3 months (started in August). Since we have a very good relationship with our GC, we usually do not have a lot of issues in getting paid. Although, since this is a big commercial project, we want to be protected the best we can be. We did not file a 20-day prelim notice before starting the job. Can I still file one? Or if we were to get into trouble with getting paid by our GC, can I still file a mechanic's lien even if I did not submit a prelim notice? What is your advise to be as best protected at this point in time and moving forward with this project since we will be on site for another 5 months.

2 replies

Nov 11, 2022

I am glad you reached out and are thinking of protecting your company's interest ASAP. 

We can't change what happened but going forward always file a preliminary notice within 20 days of when you start work. Regardless of your relationship, this is just good business practice. 

The preliminary notice essentially reaches back and protects you for the work done in the 20 days prior to service. Therefore, if you serve the notice soon it will protect you for work done 20 days earlier and all work going forward. Proper and exact notice as required under the law is an absolute requirement in order to enforce your lien rights later.

Reach out to an attorney for assistance on this and any other matters related to your business. I hope this answered your question and feel free to reach out if you have questions. 

Robert Murillo 

1 person found this helpful
Nov 14, 2022
If you are in Arizona, and you recently worked, or working the project at this time, you can still create and supply a 20 day Notice. However, it will only apply to the work completed 20 days prior and all work forward. As a result, the dollar amount and other information in the Notice will need to reflect only the recent work and any work going forward. Not previous work that occurred before the 20 day Notice window. I suggest working with an attorney/firm with experience in this area of a reputable Lien Service to create the proper Notice as soon as possible.
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