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What if I did not prelien a project but now I am not receiving payment?

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesPreliminary Notice

I had an original contract directly with the GC of a project. I did originally prelien directly to the GC. After a couple of months, GC asked for me to work via change order under another subcontractor. Which I then submitted two invoices to this sub. One in June and another in July. I have not been paid for July and no longer getting responses. I did not submit a prelien to the subcontractor. I figured since I originally preliened the GC directly it would be covered. I sent them a notice stating I would intent to lien and they just responded I had no right to do so.

1 reply

Oct 1, 2018
In California, a preliminary notice must be provided to the owner or reputed owner of the property being improved, the direct contractor, and the construction lender (if any). There are timing requirements, content requirements, and mailing/service requirements for a preliminary notice, as well.

There is no specific requirement to provide the CA preliminary notice to the party that hired the noticing party, other than the property owner or direct (prime) contractor - who must receive the notice in all cases.

There are additional requirements when work is done pursuant to different or separate contracts. Generally, a party only needs to provide one preliminary notice (which covers all the work performed), but "If a claimant provides work pursuant to contracts with more than one subcontractor, the claimant shall give a separate preliminary notice with respect to work provided pursuant to each contract."

Notice requirements can be confusing. I hope this information helps. More information can be found here:
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