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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>i sent a timely preliminary notice to the owner who owes me payment, but I did not send notice to the general contractor until after 30 days. (California). Do i still preserve my lien rights?

i sent a timely preliminary notice to the owner who owes me payment, but I did not send notice to the general contractor until after 30 days. (California). Do i still preserve my lien rights?

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesPreliminary Notice

The above question refers to an electrical job I performed and have not been paid. I am an electrical contractor in Oceanside Ca. I have been emailing back and forth with the owner, but I originally contracted with his employee. I would like to know if my failure to send the contractor a notice within the 20 days precludes m or will negate my lien rights in a court of law.

1 reply

Jul 23, 2018
In California, parties who do not contract with the property owner are required to send a preliminary notice in order to retain the right to file a lien. This preliminary notice must be sent to the property owner, the direct contractor, and the construction lender (if any). While the notice must be sent within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials in order to provide full protection, a notice sent later does not necessarily prohibit the claimant from filing a valid lien.

The California preliminary notice can be sent at any time, but it only protects amounts furnished beginning 20 days prior to the date the notice was sent. So, in the situation in which a preliminary notice was sent 30 days after first furnishing, the labor or materials furnished during the first 10 days of the job is likely not protected, but the materials or labor furnished thereafter would be (provided the necessary requirements regarding form, sending method, etc., are met).

Additionally, a party contracting with the property owner (and contracting with an employee of the property owner may be considered contracting with the property owner, depending on details) only has to send a preliminary notice to the construction lender, if any. If there was not a construction lender, there is no preliminary notice requirement for a direct contractor.
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