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Filing a Preliminary Notice / Mechanics Lien for Construction on an HOA Condo complex

CaliforniaMechanics LienPreliminary Notice

We are a construction company providing work to a California HOA condominium. Our contract is with the HOA. Do we file a single preliminary notice and lien for the HOA or one for each condo owner? And would we need a name for each condo owner if the multiple route is needed?

2 replies

Jul 27, 2018
This is an excellent question, and work on condominiums can be challenging to protect considering each unit is considered its own, separate property. Anyway, the answer actually changed relatively recently. Last year, AB 534 was passed in California which changed the way liens and notices operate with common interest developments - such as condominiums. Still, how notice may be sent will depend on whether work was performed on individual units or on common areas. If an HOA has contracted for work to be performed on a common area of a given condominium or other common interest development, a party sending notice may send a notice directly to the HOA association to fulfill their preliminary notice requirement for the work. The same is true with a mechanics lien. In California, one mechanics lien may be filed on multiple, separate properties (like individual units in a condominium) when the work was contracted for by the same (authorized) person or entity. Note, though, that the preceding is true if work was performed on common areas of a condominium. If the work performed is on individual units within a condominium, things will get a lot trickier. While one lien may still be appropriate (where all work was authorized by one person or entity), preliminary notice would likely need to be given to any unit owner where work was performed in order to preserve the right to lien that separate property. Note, though, that a claimant claiming a lien against multiple, separate properties must designate amounts due for each work of improvement. If payment is coming via lump sum for work performed on the separate properties, a lien claimant would need to estimate an equitable distribution based on the proportion of work provided to the properties.
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Jun 29, 2021
Based on this scenario does the General Contractor need to file the prelim for the HOA if there is no lender?
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