Colorado Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Colorado Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Colorado Preliminary Notice

Colorado Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


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Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notices Not Required But...

Colorado does not require notice prior to performing work, but allows parties other than the GC to file a notice to gain additional protection. Further, all construction participants are required to provide a notice of intent to lien as well as a copy of the statement of lien that will be filed at least 10 full days prior to the filing of a mechanics lien.


10
DAYS
GCs Must Send Only Notice of Intent

Notice of Intent to Lien (with a copy of lien that will be filed) required 10 days before filing.


10
DAYS
Subcontractors Must Send Only Notice of Intent

Notice of Intent to Lien (with a copy of lien that will be filed) is required 10 days before filing. However, Colorado specifically allows a subcontractor to file a notice to owner in order to require the owner to withhold funds to ensure payment of the notifying party.


10
DAYS
Suppliers Must Send Only Notice of Intent

Notice of Intent to Lien (with a copy of lien that will be filed) is required 10 days before filing. However, Colorado specifically allows a supplier to file a notice to owner in order to require the owner to withhold funds to ensure payment of the notifying party.


icon-can't waive lien rights
You Cannot Send Notice Late

Failure to provide the notice of intent to lien at least 10 full days prior to the filing of the lien is fatal to a subsequent lien claim. This requires strict timing, since the delivery of the notice of intent doesn't extend the time in which a lien may be filed.

The notice to owner is not required, however, so there is no penalty for sending it late.


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Send to Owner and Contractor

The notice to owner should be given to the owner. The notice of intent to lien must be served on the owner, or reputed owner or owner’s agent, and the prime contractor or his agent.

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notice Not Required

Colorado does not require preliminary notices be sent to preserve the right to make a claim against a payment bond on a public project.


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No Notice Required from GCs

On public jobs, any claims for non-payment are made against the general contractor's bond. Since GCs will not make a claim against their own bond for non-payment, they do not have bond claim rights, and have no preliminary notice requirement.


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No Notice Required from Subs

Colorado does not require preliminary notices be sent to preserve the right to make a claim against a payment bond on a public project.


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No Notice Requirement from Suppliers

Colorado does not require preliminary notices be sent to preserve the right to make a claim against a payment bond on a public project.

Colorado does not require that a preliminary notice be provided prior to, or shortly after beginning to perform work or furnish materials on a project. However, Colorado does contemplate the sending of a best-practice preliminary notice that provides real effects on payment rights, and mandates that a notice of intent to lien be provided to the property owner in the event payment disputes escalate to the point that a lien is required.

In Colorado, any party other than the prime contractor is allowed to file a Notice to Owner. This notice, while not required, has powerful effects. Once the notice has been provided, “it is the duty of the [property owner] to withhold from such principal contractor . . . sufficient money due or that may become due to said principal contractor, or other persons, to satisfy such claim and any lien that may be filed therefor.” This means that if a sub-tier participant gives a preliminary notice prior to furnishing labor or materials to a Colorado project, the owner is obligated to withhold the amount referenced in the sub-tier participants notice to satisfy any claim that party may have for payment.

Additionally, any project participant may give a Disburser Notice pursuant to CO Rev Stat § 38-22-126 to, in effect, skip up the payment chain. If the disburser notice is provided appropriately, the disburser of funds is required to pay the claimant directly, or, if it doesn’t is directly liable for any damages suffered by the noticing party. For example, if a GC does not pay a subcontractor that has provided a proper notice to the disburser (generally the construction lender or owner), the disburser is required to pay the subcontractor directly from the construction loan or other funds, or will be directly liable if the sub remains unpaid.

Finally, in the event that a payment dispute exists to the extent that it appears a mechanics lien will need to be filed. Any such potential lien claimant is required to give the property owner, reputed owner, or owner’s agent, a Notice of Intent to Lien as well as a copy of the Statement of Lien that will be filed at least 10 full days prior to the filing of the mechanics lien itself.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending Colorado pre-lien notices, it's important to get all the details right. If you're receiving prelims, it's important to know what you're looking at and know what to do in followup. Since prelims are subject to a lot of complex rules and requirements, this can all be difficult. And, since there may be different rules, requirements, and even notices depending on job or role, it can be even more complicated. These are some frequently asked questions about the Colorado notice process.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Colorado Preliminary Notice?

Colorado does not require any notice prior to performing work on the project. However, any party other than the prime contractor is allowed to file a Notice to Owner that has the effect of requiring the owner to withhold funds to ensure payment of the notifying party.

A Colorado mechanics lien claimant is required to give the property owner, reputed owner, or owner’s agent, a Notice of Intent to Lien as well as a copy of the Statement of Lien that will be filed at least 10 full days prior to the filing of the mechanics lien.

You can learn more about the Notice of Intent requirement here: Colorado Notice of Intent FAQs & Guide.

When do I Need to Send a Colorado Preliminary Notice?

If given, the Notice to Owner may be given to the owner at any time, either prior to performing work or after performing work and prior to giving Notice of Intent to Lien.

The Notice of Intent to Lien, along with a copy of the Statement of Lien to be filed, must be given to the owner at least 10 full days prior to the filing of the Statement of Lien.  The timeframes here are very important, as discussed in Colorado’s Notice of Intent to Lien Requires Planning.

What if I Send the Colorado Preliminary Notice Late?

Notice to Owner is not required in Colorado, so there is no penalty to sending the notice late, if it is given at all.

Failure to provide the Notice of Intent to Lien (and a copy of the Statement of Lien to be filed) at least 10 full days prior to the filing of the lien is fatal to the lien claim.

How Should the Colorado Preliminary Notice be Sent?

A Notice to Owner may be given by personal delivery, by leaving the notice at the owner’s (or superintendent of construction’s, agent’s, architect’s, or financing institution’s) residence or place of business with someone in charge.

A Notice Intent to Lien, may be given by personal service, or by registered or certified mail return receipt requested addressed to the last known address of such persons.

Do I Have to Send the Colorado Preliminary Notice to Someone Other than the Owner?

The Notice to Owner may be given to the owner, reputed owner, owner’s agent, superintendent of construction, architect, or financing institution.

The Notice of Intent to Lien must be served on the owner, or reputed owner or owner’s agent, and the prime contractor or his agent.

Is the Colorado Preliminary Notice Requirement met when sent or delivered?

The preliminary notice is considered delivered when either delivered in person, or when the notice is properly addressed, registered, and mailed. No requirement exists that a mailed notice must be received in order to be effective.

The Notice of Intent to Lien requirement is considered completed when it is: (1) Mailed, if served by mailing; or (2) Received, if served by personal service. See this blog post: Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien Effective Upon Mailing.

In Colorado, even where a mechanics lien statement must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, proving that the mail piece was sent according to the requirement is enough. In 6S Corp. v. Martinez the Court reasoned that otherwise, “adding the implied requirement of actual receipt to this statutory scheme would likely have the paradoxical effect of creating uncertainty and controversy, if not rendering meaningless the alternative to personal service which the statute expressly authorizes.”

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a Colorado Preliminary Notice?

No. Colorado does not require preliminary notice to preserve a claimant’s right to make a bond claim. However, any party may give a preliminary notice if so desired.

When do I Need to Send a Colorado Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Colorado Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Colorado Preliminary Notice be Sent?

N/A

To Whom Must the Colorado Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

Need More Help with Colorado Preliminary Notices?

How to file a lien in Colorado

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Colorado Preliminary Notice Form Template

The Colorado preliminary notice forms are regulated by statute. This doesn’t mean that the form has to look a certain way, but it does mean that the document must contain certain information. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Colorado rules and requirements. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

Colorado Notice to Owner Form - free from

Colorado Notice to Owner Form

The Colorado Notice to Owner form is not a required document for construction contractors in Colorado but can be a useful tool for speedy payments....

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