Who Do I Send Pre-Lien To?

4 months ago

We are a solar company in California. We have a contract to install solar on a hospital. We are the general contractor. Our contract is with the finance company, not the property owner. Who do we add to our pre-lien to guarantee we will be paid?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

When hired by someone other than the property owner, a preliminary notice (also known as a “pre-lien”) must be sent to the property owner, the prime contractor, and the construction lender. When hired directly by the property owner, notice must only be sent to the lender.

On a project that’s got a bit of a weird hiring structure, if it doesn’t seem particularly clear, it’s generally a good idea to err on the side of caution. After all, there’s little harm in sending additional preliminary notice, but failure to send notice to the required parties will result in a loss of rights.

For more information on California preliminary notices, here are some great resources:
(1) About California Preliminary 20-Day Notices
(2) The Ultimate Guide to California’s 20-Day Preliminary Notice

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