Is it true that a sub that doesn’t file a preliminary notice cannot lien the property (it’s residential)?

5 days ago

20 day prelim notice

Attorney Carlton & Alberola
14 reviews

Yes, that’s true. You still have contract rights against the GC. Good luck.

Carlton & Alberola and/or Andrew Carlton have not been retained by the recipient of the above comment and, moreover, the above comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The above is general commentary based on limited and insufficient information. If you wish to obtain legal advice, please contact Andrew Carlton at 949-954-6666 x101, or by email at

Attorney Law Office of Cathleen M. Curl
17 reviews

Yes. Very true.

Legal Associate Levelset
115 reviews

Yes, under California mechanics lien laws anyone who didn’t contract directly with the property owner must provide a preliminary notice within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project. Failure to provide this 20-day prelim is fatal to your mechanics lien rights.

However, if you missed the 20-day deadline, there is still an opportunity to secure some lien rights. This notice can be sent later than 20 days after the first furnishing date. However, this late notice will only secure lien rights for the value of labor or materials provided in the 20 days prior to the notice, and the remainder of the project. It can be better to secure some lien rights, instead of none at all.

If the project has already completed, then you will be unable to file a mechanics lien to secure payment. But that doesn’t mean you are completely out of options. You can still file a lawsuit against the party who hired you under claims such as breach of contract. Also, depending on the amount in dispute, these claims can be brought up in California Small Claims Courts.

Good luck!


Disclaimer: Disclaimer: NOTE. The information presented here is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be construed nor relied upon as such. Furthermore, this posting does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, seek the counsel of a licensed, local attorney.
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