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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>If contracting directly with an owner and there is no lender, if a Prelim wasn't given, can a lien be filed for non payment?

If contracting directly with an owner and there is no lender, if a Prelim wasn't given, can a lien be filed for non payment?

CaliforniaPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

We did work for a homeowner, on a rental, they are refusing to pay, said we didn't do the job properly. Have tried several times to get a list, after the first initial list that was completed. Owner keeps saying she is going to get me a list from, "professionals," and has yet to do so. Has not released final payment. This has been going on for over a week.

1 reply

Aug 7, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. In California, if no lender is present, then a contractor with a direct contract with the owner is not required to send preliminary notice prior to filing a mechanics lien claim. It's worth noting, though, that if the deadline for filing a lien is not close, sending a Notice of Intent to Lien can be effective, and it can save a claimant time and money. A Notice of Intent to Lien is sort of like a warning shot - it states that, if payment isn't made, a lien will be filed. Because a mechanics lien is such a drastic remedy, many owners will be unwilling to call that bluff. Plus, if the Notice of Intent to Lien is ignored, a claimant can carry on and file their lien claim, if necessary. Remember, though, that a Notice of Intent to Lien will not extend the deadline for filing a lien, so keep an eye on the deadline - the loss of lien rights is often a huge blow to recovery efforts. You can learn more about deadlines and other aspects of a California lien claim here: California Lien and Notice FAQs.
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