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Do I need to keep sending preliminary notices with each material shipment?

LouisianaMonthly NoticePreliminary Notice

We are a material supplier in many states (LA, MS, TX, AL, etc). When we have a long project, do we only send the one preliminary notice at the beginning, or do we send a new preliminary notice with the updated amount for each new shipment?

1 reply

Jul 31, 2019
Good question. First, it's worth mentioning that preliminary notice requirements will vary greatly from state to state. So, it's hard to provide any one blanket rule that will apply to all states. You can follow these links for the state's particular notice rules: Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Alabama. Further, you can find the notice requirements for any given state by clicking that state on the map found here: Map of Notice Requirements in the US.

As for the question at hand...
Notices typically do not need to be sent on a recurring basis. Rather, one preliminary notice - usually right near the start of the job - is typically sufficient to preserve the right to lien for the entire job. Note, though, that material suppliers may need to send recurring notices (i.e. "monthly notices") in Texas or Louisiana, depending on the circumstances. Particularly for LA - material suppliers need only send monthly notices when providing materials to someone other than the owner or prime contractor. In Texas, recurring notices are really only required if payment is owed but has not been provided for work in a previous month. For a little more detail, you can learn about Texas and Louisiana monthly notices here: Texas and Louisiana.

Typically, notices need not be revised
It's also worth mentioning that preliminary notices typically don't need to be revised, even when the party sending notice ends up providing more work than what was anticipated. We discuss that idea in this article: Is it OK to Send Revised Preliminary Notices? Does it Affect My Deadlines?

Note, though, that when a completely separate contract has been entered into for the supply of materials to a project where a prelim has already been sent (rather than sending shipments as planned, or altering an agreement already in place), sending multiple preliminary notices might be appropriate or even required.
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