About Alaska Preliminary Notices
Alaska’s preliminary notice, called a Notice of Right to Lien, is not specifically required in a traditional sense, but it does have important tangible benefits to being sent or filed. Alaska’s preliminary notice scheme is unique in that there is one notice – the Notice of Lien Rights – but this notice has two potential “deadlines” related to two different effects, and two different methods of delivery.
Download a free Alaska Notice of Right to Lien form
Alaska Notice Deadlines
The first opportunity and “deadline” for giving the notice of lien rights in Alaska is prior to work begins. When delivered to the property owner prior to the project participant’s first furnishing of labor or material to the project, the notice works to shift the burden of proof regarding the project participant’s furnishing of labor or material if an action to enforce a lien is ever required. The “burden of proof” is a legal term that specifies which party is obligated to prove some fact or allegation. In this case, if the project participant does not provide the owner with a notice of lien rights prior to first furnishing, then the claimant is required to prove that the owner was aware of their participation on the project and consented to it. If the notice is given, the obligation is shifted to the owner to prove that they did not have knowledge of and consent to the participants work on the project.
The second opportunity and “deadline” for giving the notice of lien rights in Alaska is “at any time after the claimant enters into a contract for or first furnishes labor, material, service, or equipment in connection with a project.” This particular notice of lien rights is no different from the pre-work notice of lien rights in form or content, but is different in effect and delivery. This “second” notice of lien rights must be recorded in the recorder’s office in order to be effective. If recorded, the notice of right to lien can extend the time in which a project participant may file a valid and enforceable lien if a notice of completion is filed on the project.
Anyone — the prime, the subcontractor or the supplier — may deliver either the “first” or “second” notice of lien rights. Since there would likely be little argument that the property owner didn’t know of consent to the project participation of a party with whom they directly contracted, it is unlikely that the “first” notice of lien rights would have much practical impact for a direct contractor, but it doesn’t hurt to always provide notice.