Do I send separate prelims or just one for a job with 7 separate contracts?

2 months ago

We just started on a project yesterday but the GC handled the contracts a little different than most. They actually issued us 7 contracts for this one project. One project per scope. Such as a contract for framing, a contract for drywall, etc. Do I need to send a prelim notice for each contract, or just send one and list the total amount of all contracts?

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Subcontractor
Project Type: Commercial
Senior Legal Associate Levelset
403 reviews

It certainly isn’t common to execute several separate contracts for work being done on the same project, and Virginia’s mechanics lien statute doesn’t contemplate that situation either. Because the situation isn’t accounted for in the statute, the absolute safest way to proceed would likely be sending a separate notice for each contract. But, that might not be totally necessary.

Looking at § 43-4.01(B) of the Virginia mechanics lien statute, the notice doesn’t seem to require separate notices. And, that section doesn’t really seem to require a particularly-detailed description of the work that’s being done. Plus, there’s some leniency baked into the statute regarding the notice requirements – meaning, Virginia notices aren’t quite as rigid about the requirements like other states. So, sending one collective prelim that outlines the work that will be done under all of the separate contracts might be appropriate.

However, again – the safest way to go about it would be to send notice for every contract since that would be unquestionably sufficient to preserve rights.

For more information on Virginia preliminary notices: Virginia Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
Attorney Steven Krieger Law, PLLC
3 reviews

I agree with Matthew. You probably don’t need to issue seven different notices, but it’s probably just changing a handful of words in the notices, so better safe than sorry. I’m sure anyone who responds would be happy to help. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: This response or communication does not constitute legal advice, is not an engagement for the provision of legal services, is not a consultation, and does not form an attorney-client relationship with Steven Krieger Law, PLLC. Further, should not disclose confidential information related to your case on forums. If you'd like a consultation, we're happy to help and I may be reached through my Levelset profile.
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