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If contract is with the property owner, is a preliminary notice still required in order to file mech lien?

CaliforniaMechanics LienPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

We billed our client (property owner) in June and have not been able to collect payment. Since our contract was directly with the owner we did not prelim.

1 reply

Oct 19, 2018
In California, all parties other than wage laborers must provide a preliminary notice in order to later claim a valid lien. However, parties who contract directly with the property owner, must only provide a preliminary notice to the construction lender associated with a project (if any). If there was not a construction lender on the project, no notice is required to be provided by direct contractors in order to later claim a valid lien. When required, in order to fully protect the labor or materials furnished, the preliminary notice must be sent within 20 days of the claimant first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If it is sent later, it is effective to protect the value of the labor or materials furnished from the date 20 days prior to the date on which the notice was provided.

In addition to the preliminary notice requirements, there are timing requirements for a mechanics lien, as well. A direct contractor in California must file their lien within 90 days from the date of completion of the work of improvement as a whole. However, that time period can be shortened to 60 days from the filing of a notice of completion or cessation if the owner files such a notice.
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