We are a roofing subcontractor on a commercial project hired by the general Contractor. We failed to send a preliminary notice and then the general contractor was fired by the owner and we have not been paid yet.
May 31, 2019
Wisconsin's notice requirements are a bit different than most states. Typically, there are two notices required in Wisconsin in order to secure mechanics lien rights; both a Preliminary Notice and a Notice of Intent to Lien. Fortunately, there are a few minor exceptions to the preliminary notice requirements. These are set out in WI Stat. §779.02. One exception in particular states that the notice requirements do not apply "where the improvement is partly or wholly nonresidential in character." Therefore, preliminary notices are not required on commercial projects in Wisconsin; although we always recommend sending voluntary preliminary notices on every project.
However, a Notice of Intent to File a Claim of Lien is required in WI. Any potential lien claimant must serve a notice of intent at least 30 days before filing the claim of lien itself. But, there is an important timing issue that needs to be kept in mind. The deadline to file a Wisconsin lien claim is 6 months after the last day of furnishing labor or materials to the project. The notice of intent does not affect or extend this deadline. So potential lien claimants need to be sure to send a notice of intent at least 5 months after the last date of furnishing.