Generic Preliminary Notice Form
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Not everyone is required to send preliminary notice, but it’s a good idea to send notice anyway. By sending a notice such as this generic, non-statutory preliminary notice, the sending party can help establish a transparent and communicative project.
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Others are asking about National Preliminary Notice
Is a prelim required to be sent to General Contractor each time we bill the Prime Subcontractor?
In California the preliminary notice required to preserve your lien rights only needs to be sent once at the start of the project, and should be sent certified. It secures lien rights (if you are not paid) for any work performed within 20 days before the notice and through the end of the project. If the subcontract price increases through change orders by more than 10% during the project, it is a good idea to send an amended preliminary notice showing the increased contract price.
The Prime Contractor likely has the right to issue joint checks for the amounts invoiced to you by your materials suppliers, but this may depend on the specific terms and conditions contained within your subcontract. For projects of significant value, it may be worth it to retain an attorney to review the proposed subcontract before you sign, and the attorney could give you feedback on the terms and conditions or suggest areas you may want to negotiate.
Notice of Identification- THIS IS URGENT
A Notice of Indentification isn't required to have the right to file a MA mechanics lien, but it will gre atly increase the amount of protection (i.e. value recoverable under your lien claim). We recommend that Massachusetts subcontractors send this notice on every project.
Typically, a subcontractor's lien claim in Massachusetts is limited to the unpaid balance owed to the prime contractor at the time the subcontractor filed their Notice of Contract. However, if the Notice of Identification is sent properly, and the subcontractor ultimately files a lien, the amount secured will be the entire contract price.
So how does one "send a Notice of Identification properly?"
The notice must be sent to the GC and the owner by certified mail with return receipt requested, within 30 days of first furnsihing labor or materials to the project.
- You can download a free MA Notice of Identification template here
- For more on the MA Notice of Identification, see: Massacushetts Preliminary Notices- All You Need to Know
Can the constructor send a mechnics lien asking more money than owed to the job?
Unless you received a preliminary notice from the contractor within 20 days after the work being performed, the lien is invalid on those grounds. A preliminary notice is a document that the contractor doing work for a tenant has to provide the owner in order to put the owner on notice that the contractor may have lien rights if the tenant does not pay. If you haven't received a preliminary notice, and it has been more than 20 days since the work was performed, I would recommend writing the contractor telling them to release the lien because it is invalid because you never received a preliminary notice.
Additionally, a mechanics lien may only validly seek the amount owed under contract or the reasonable value of the work performed (less prior amounts paid) which ever is less. The lien may also include interest at the rate of 7 pecent per year, however, it is improper to include legal fees in a mechanics lien, and you should include that in your letter.
If the contractor still refuses to release the lien after being paid the principal amount, I would recomend you retain a qualified attorney to assist you in removing the lien.
Also keep in mind that the lien is only valid for 90 days, and if the contractor does not sue to foreclose on the lien within 90 days of recording, you may petition the court to release the lien. There is a notice required before filing the petition, and I recommend you engage an attorney if you are contemplating filing a petition to release the lien.