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what is the difference between a 20 day preliminary notice and a pre lien

ArizonaPreliminary Notice

Im in accounting wanting to apply for a job in construction in which I'm familiar with liens and so on. Its just been a minute so I'm trying to refresh my memory

1 reply

Jul 16, 2019
This is just a name game. Depending on where the project is located, these may be referred to as pre-liens, notice-to-owners, monthly notices, etc. But at the end of the day, they are all preliminary notices. Arizona refers to theirs as a 20-day notice. They are all meant to provide the property owner notice of who is working on the project, while (in many states) securing a person's ability to file a mechanics lien.

According to AZ mechanics lien laws, every project participant is required to send this notice within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to a construction project. This should be sent to the owner, the GC, the construction lender (if there is one), and any other party higher up on the hiring chain. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of lien protection.

There are a few important things to note about AZ's 20-day notices. One is that this notice can still be sent late. However, once sent, it will only retain rights for the labor or materials provided in the 20 days preceding the notice and everything thereafter. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the AZ preliminary notice requires that the value of the work be provided; and there is a current rule stating that if this amount increases by 20% or more, a new one should be sent with the revised amount. But, this rule is set to change from 20% to 30% come December 2019. You can download a free, customizable AZ 20-day Notice template form here.

For additional resources, you can check out our Ultimate Guide to Arizona's 20 Day Preliminary Notice, or a full AZ Mechanics Lien Overview & FAQs page.

Hope this helps, good luck!
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