Good question! As hinted at above, preliminary notice sent late will still be effective, but only for the work performed after the notice was sent as well as the work performed within 20 days immediately preceding the notice. This is true for mechanics liens as well as stop notices. Specifically, under § 8204(a) of the civil code, " The claimant shall, however, be entitled to record a lien, give a stop payment notice, and assert a claim against a payment bond only for work performed within 20 days prior to the service of the preliminary notice, and at any time thereafter. "
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