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Filing of Preliminary Notice

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesPreliminary Notice

What are rules for filing a preliminary notice? Our job is mostly complete and I just realized I have not filed.

1 reply

Sep 20, 2018
In California, all parties other than wage laborers are required to send a preliminary notice. Direct contractors, however, are only required to send the preliminary notice to the construction lender, if any.

To provide full protection, the preliminary notice must be sent within 20 days from the first date the noticing party furnished labor or materials to the project. The notice may be sent later, but only works to protect the value of the labor or materials furnished beginning on the date 20 days prior to the date on which the notice was sent. The preliminary notice is only too late to provide any protection if it is sent more than 20 days after the noticing party last furnished labor or material.

It is generally a good practice to provide a preliminary notice at the beginning of every project. Prelims are built into the fabric of the California construction landscape, so they are expected to be received from the interested party.

While a California preliminary notice may be filed, they are effective if they are sent to the required parties and not actually filed. Preliminary notices in California are rarely filed, as sending via certified mail is sufficient.
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