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Is a Preliminary lein notice to to be given before work commences no matter what in every circumstance as a precaution?

IndianaPreliminary Notice

I have read that a preliminary notice is to be given within 60 days of the first day of work. I have received legal advice that a preliminary notice is to be given before work begins, after being filed with the recorder. I am a contractor in Indiana, trying to protect the business. Is this a document that is meant to protect the contractor? or is this a document that is to be given only if you intend to file a lein KNOWING that someone won't pay. Most of my projects are more than 60 days, and by that time we really have no idea if someone intends not to pay.. I really need assistance

1 reply

Feb 4, 2020
Indiana preliminary notice requirements depend on the project, and the identity of the party with whom the construction participant contracted. Notice is never required for a party in direct contractual relation with the owner, but other parties are required to send (and sometimes file) a preliminary notice on residential projects. If the project is for the repair or alteration of a residential structure, the preliminary notice must be sent within 30 days from first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If the project is for the original construction of a residence, the preliminary notice must be provided within 60 days of first furnishing labor or materials. This notice should be sent by certified mail return receipt requested – additionally, for the new construction in a subdivision or a spec home, the notice must also be recorded in the recorder’s office in the county in which the project is located. These requirements are not dependent on knowing whether or not there will be payment issue on the project. They are strict requirements, and the 30-day or 60-day Notice to Owner of Mechanics Lien Rights is essential to a mechanics lien claim in Indiana. Failure to send (and sometimes record) the notice timely is fatal to mechanics lien rights. While the deadlines are set forth above, those are the last possible day the notices may be sent (and/or recorded). It is always best practice to provide preliminary notices before the last minute, so there is no issue with bumping into deadlines, and so that the notice can do it job of providing visibility into project participants sooner. Providing the notice is not a statement that a project participant is intending to file a lien, or any reflection on any other party - it's just a notice that is required to be sent by Indiana statutes.
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