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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>if a subcontractor did not file a 20 day preliminary notice in CA before and after his work was completed can he file one now?

if a subcontractor did not file a 20 day preliminary notice in CA before and after his work was completed can he file one now?

CaliforniaPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

We contracted some one to run a project for us he never filed a 20 preliminary when he started or even before he finished the project. Now he is coming back saying we owe him money and now he has filed a preliminary notice. What are my options can he file a lien on the property?

1 reply

Jan 8, 2019
That's a good question. In California, in order to preserve lien rights, all parties who do not have a contract with the property owner are required to send preliminary notice - and that notice must be sent within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the job. Late notice can be sent - but that notice will not be totally effective. Instead, when a California preliminary notice is sent late, it will only preserve the right to lien for work performed during the 20 days prior to sending the notice, as well as any work performed afterwards. In a situation where a claimant sends notice after performing all work, that claimant will only retain the right to lien for the work performed during the 20 days immediately proceeding the notice. In terms of preventing a lien filing in the first place - that can be hard to do. However, informing the subcontractor that their failure to provide timely notice has left them without lien rights (at least to some degree) can go a long way to preventing a lien claim - especially when it is made clear that any improper or invalid lien filing will be met with stiff legal opposition. For more information on California lien and notice provisions, this resource may be helpful - California Lien & Notice FAQs.
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