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

VirginiaConstruction ContractPreliminary Notice

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?

2 replies

Apr 30, 2020
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.
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May 15, 2020
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!
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