My sub sent me a prelim. Is there anything I need to do now?? Or do I just hold onto it?
Sep 21, 2018
After receiving a preliminary notice, there typically isn't really any required follow-up action. However, that doesn't mean you should open it and forget it. Instead, this is an opportunity to take advantage and get the job going on the right foot. For one, reaching out to the party who sent notice could be a good first step - a quick conversation to make sure you're on the same page could clear up any initial misunderstandings and open a line of communication. If that sub or supplier runs into payment problems, you want them turning to you (rather than turning to to a lawsuit or a lien claim) before the dispute snowballs out of control.
Another good step would be to make a note of every party who has sent notice and to keep all received notices in your records for safe keeping. When it comes time for payment, if you've received notice from every sub and supplier on the job, it will be easy to identify when and where payments should be moving - and if a dispute arises, it will be easier to identify why there was a disconnect. Further, can make sure each party sending notice has received payment, and you'll know from whom lien waivers should be obtained.
Obviously, the goal on every job is to be sure that everyone is paid. But, if issues do come up, making extra sure that parties who sent notice get paid is a good idea. By sending notice, they've likely worked to preserve lien rights on the job, and a single lien filing could derail an entire job. So, as a bottom line: it's important to keep track of who all has sent notice, and it's always a good idea to keep records of all notices received. But the most helpful move could be to open a line of communication with the party who sent notice. By doing so, you can help prevent any payment issues before they start.