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Can you file NOF on maintenance projects at a university and companies?

OhioPreliminary Notice

Our customer works at a university and orders material for maintenance projects all the time. We provide supplies for each PO# and for different locations. We bill our customer and then they bill the university. Would a NOF work in this situation? If not, what would to protect our interest?

1 reply

May 21, 2019
That's an interesting question, and there are some additional factors that will determine what notice can and should be sent, as well as what recovery options might be available. Specifically, whether the university is public or private will actually have a large impact here. When a project takes place on public property, a mechanics lien won't be available against the underlying land to secure payment. But a mechanics lien against project funds or a bond claim could potentially be available. Regardless of the payment security, though, a Notice of Furnishing will generally be required when a potential claimant was hired by someone other than the property owner.

For private projects, where lien rights against the property serve as payment security, a Notice of Furnishing must be sent by all parties who did not contract directly with the property owner (if a Notice of Commencement was filed). For public projects, subs and suppliers hired by someone other than the owner must send a Notice of Furnishing in order to preserve their right to make a lien on contract funds or a bond claim.

So, for someone hired by a party other than the property owner - a Notice of Furnishing will be necessary for just about any project. Plus, even when notice isn't required, establishing open communication from the start of the project and letting the property owner know you're performing work will help avoid payment problems in the first place and put a sub or supplier in the front of the line when payment is being released.

For more details about Notice of Furnishing, these resources will be helpful: (1) Notice and Lien Overview for Private Projects; (2) Notice and Claim Overview for Public Projects.
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