We are the general contractor on a commercial remodeling project in Arizona. Is the general contractor required to file a preliminary notice or an Intent to Lien before filing a lien? We thought only our subs would be required to file a Preliminary Notice. Would an email to the customer and their subsequent reply suffice as Intent to Lien and acknowledgement of delivery?
Yes, general contractors are required to send a preliminary notice in Arizona to secure mechanics lien rights. Ideally, this notice should be sent within 20 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials on the project. A notice served outside this timeframe is still effective, but it will only secure lien rights to labor/materials furnished in the 20 days preceding the notice, and everything thereafter.
As far as serving the preliminary notice, GC's should send the notice to the property owner, and the construction lender on the project, if any. Also, the statute is rather specific when it comes to how service must be made; personal service, or mailed by first class, with certificate of mailing, or registered or certified mail. An email will not suffice.
When it comes to a Notice of Intent to Lien, this is not a requirement under Arizona lien law. However, we generally advise contractors to send one as a last measure before filing their claim.
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful: