I'm a sub and sub-sub contractor in CA -- I work primarily on commercial and public projects. Do I have to resend a CA preliminary notice if a property owner changes mid-job?
Jun 21, 2018
California preliminary notice takes effect when it is properly sent. Thus, if preliminary notice is sent as required at the start of the project, it is effective to preserve that claimant's mechanics lien rights through the end of the job - regardless of what changes occur throughout the life of the job. In fact, sending revised preliminary notice can be dangerous and more trouble than it's worth, in some situations. We discuss the idea in depth in this article.
But, to identify one of the potential dangers: late notice in California will protect only the prior 20 days of work (plus the rest of the work to be performed on the job). If work has been in progress for longer than 20 days, that means any work performed before 20 days of sending the new preliminary notice could be in jeopardy if the "new" notice is considered to replace the "old" notice.
However, sending some communication that informs a purchaser of project property of who's on the job might be wise. Doing so will make the payment chain on the project more clear for a new owner, and transparent and communicative projects typically result in fewer payment issues. While sending a new preliminary notice might not be the best idea, sending something like a Project Awareness Letter could work to inform an owner of who all is on the project while not serving as an official preliminary notice.