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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We are owed retainage on 2 projects for schools that we completed in 2017. Both of these schools are in South Carolina, one was completed 8/2/2017 and the other completed 12/27/2017. The GC is telling us they haven’t received the retainage payment from the owner. Are we able to send a notice of non-payment for these?

We are owed retainage on 2 projects for schools that we completed in 2017. Both of these schools are in South Carolina, one was completed 8/2/2017 and the other completed 12/27/2017. The GC is telling us they haven’t received the retainage payment from the owner. Are we able to send a notice of non-payment for these?

South CarolinaPreliminary Notice

Hey Matt, I'm submitting this question on behalf of a user. I'll relay your response to them via email.

1 reply

Oct 30, 2018
That's a good question, and South Carolina is a bit unique with its notice requirements. In South Carolina, there is no real time limit for sending notice (whether it be for a public or private project). But it's still a good idea to send the notice as soon as possible. If notice is not sent, a claimant's claim will be limited to the amount that is unpaid to the prime contractor at the time of the claim. However, when notice is sent, the claimant will be entitled to any amounts owed and unpaid to the prime contractor at the time of the notice. It might be helpful to illustrate how this could affect a claim for retainage. When a claimant sends notice (again, either public or private) that claimant can file a claim for what they're owed up to the amount that is owed the prime contractor at the time of the notice. Thus, when a prime contractor is still owed retainage, by sending notice, a claimant could preserve their right to make a claim on up to the full amount of the retainage owed to the prime contractor. However, if no notice is sent and the prime contractor is paid retainage but later refuses to pay the claimant their portion of retainage, that claimant would only be able to make a claim on payments owed to the prime contractor (which would be nothing). Note, of course, that if a project is public, a claimant is not required to send preliminary notice if they were hired directly by the prime contractor - but it's typically a good idea to send notice regardless.
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