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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We install fire installations and before we're on a job our engineers work on the design, can use the date we start design work as the first date of labor and materials?

We install fire installations and before we're on a job our engineers work on the design, can use the date we start design work as the first date of labor and materials?

LouisianaDesign Professional

We install fire installations and before we're on a job our engineers work on the design, can use the date we start design work as the first date of labor and materials?

1 reply

May 24, 2019
That's a good question. Ultimately, the answer might depend on exactly what the first date of furnishing is being used for.

Generally, if this date is needed for determining when preliminary notice will be sent, using a date that does not reflect the first date when work was performed at the job site might be acceptable. This is because, in most cases, sending preliminary notice early is perfectly acceptable - and sometimes even preferable. Though, those who utilize the Notice of Lease document in Louisiana (equipment renters) may need to provide notice after their first furnishing date.

As for what to consider a first furnishing date for the purposes of potentially filing a mechanics lien or bond claim, that might not matter all that much. This is because lien and bond claim deadlines in Louisiana run from the end of the project (generally, substantial completion or after a Notice of Termination is filed). So, precisely identifying when work was first performed at the project might be an important detail - particularly when there's question as to when work really "began". Still - considering the right to make these claims won't arise until work is performed on-site, using the first date of on-site work might be a safer option for "first furnishing", as it relates to mechanics liens.

Of course, note that for the purposes of a lien claim, mechanics liens are available for amounts owed for the improvement of real property that remain unpaid. So, performing engineering work off-site, in and of itself, might not give rise to lien rights. Though, the amounts owed for that work will be lienable as long as the work resulted in the property's actual improvement. i.e. If engineering work is performed, but not ultimately used in improving property, lien rights generally won't arise. But, if that same work does get put to use in improving the property, it will be lienable along with amounts owed for the work done on-site - and the right to lien for that work won't arise until work is done at the project site.

For more information on mechanics liens and notices in Louisiana, these resources will be valuable:
(1) Louisiana Lien & Notice Overview with FAQs; and
(2) Louisiana Bond Claim and Notice Overview with FAQs.
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