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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>If we are a Subcontractor to a Subcontractor, when sending a Preliminary Notice, who do we send it to? The Subcontractor who hired us or the General Contractor who hired them?

If we are a Subcontractor to a Subcontractor, when sending a Preliminary Notice, who do we send it to? The Subcontractor who hired us or the General Contractor who hired them?

California

We are a Subcontractor who was hired by another Subcontractor to work on a project, that Subcontractor was hired by a General Contractor. Do we need to send a Preliminary Notice to the Subcontractor who hired us or directly to the General Contractor who hired them? Or both?

3 replies

Jun 14, 2019
Good question. It’s important to get preliminary notices right in order to secure your lien rights in case something goes wrong on the project. Thankfully, the California preliminary notice requirements and deadlines are pretty straightforward.

As a sub-subcontractor, preliminary notice is a requirement to maintain mechanics lien rights. Besides preserving lien rights, preliminary notices are meant to inform those who do not have a contractual relationship who is working on the project. Sub-subcontractors are required to send notice to (1) the property owner, (2) the general (or prime) contractor, and (3) the construction lender if there is one on the project. There is no need to send notice to the hiring sub, since there is already a contractual relationship, and they are aware that you are working on the project.

Keep in mind that these should be sent within 20 days of first providing materials or labor to the project. Missing the deadline isn’t fatal to your lien rights. A late notice can still be valid, but it will only cover labor and materials provided in the preceding 20 days.

Another important thing to remember is that in some cases, failure to send a preliminary notice in California can get you fined by the CA Contractors’ State Licensing Board. For any construction contract over $400, this is an absolute requirement. Failure to do so constitutes grounds for disciplinary actions.

For further information regarding California preliminary notices, some FAQs and info at-a-glance can be found on the CA Preliminary Notice page of Levelset’s Learning Center. And for a detailed look at all of the requirements can be found in our Ultimate Guide to California’s 20-day Preliminary Notice.
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Dec 7, 2020
So how would you fill out the prelim. do we just put the name of the Sub-Contractor where it says the name of the person who hired you and where it say Direct GC we put the org GC there or ?
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Dec 9, 2020

You should send the notice to the general, the sub you are contracting with, the owner, and the construction lender, if any. 

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