Preliminary Notices

1 week ago

My question is related to the following.

We did a preliminary notice on an address that we thought was the location. This was to the best of our knowledge at the time.

The customer did not pay. We contacted the GC but they agreed to pay us but then changed there mind and stated that they never received a preliminary notice. Looks like the job was near the location we had our equipment at.

Do we have any recourse? Can we still move forward with a mechanics lien?

Legal Associate Levelset

In Ohio, a preliminary notice is also known as a Notice of Furnishing. On most projects, this notice is required once the owner files a Notice of Commencement (NOC). Once filed, the preliminary notice must be sent within 21 days of the filing date. If the owner didn’t file a Notice of Commencement, a preliminary notice is not required to secure mechanics lien rights. The one exception to this requirement is residential projects of 1-3 units. If a Notice of Commencement is never filed then a preliminary notice is not required.

If a Notice of Commencement was filed, then the owner is required to post it in a clearly visible spot on the job site and provide a copy to the GC. This notice will include the full property address. Upon request, a subcontractor has the right to receive a copy of the NOC.

This notice can be served late, but will only cover the 21 days prior to the receipt of the notice by the owner. Depending on the timeline, it may still be worth sending a preliminary notice. However, this doesn’t mean that all recovery options are lost. There are still other options such as sending a prompt payment demand or filing a lawsuit in small claims court for breach of contract or unjust enrichment.

For further reading: Ohio Notice of Furnishing Overview & FAQs, & What is a Notice of Commencement in Ohio?

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