Maryland Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Maryland Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Maryland Preliminary Notice

Maryland Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


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Preliminary Notices Are Generally Required

Notices are not required for general contractors. They are, however, required for subcontractors who are not in direct contact with the property owner.


N/A
GC's Not Required to Send Notice

Preliminary Notices are not required for general contractors.


120
DAYS
Subcontractors Must Send Notice

Notice of lien claim must be served on owner within 120 days after last providing labor or materials.


120
DAYS
Suppliers Must Send Notice

Notice of lien claim must be served on owner within 120 days after last providing labor or materials.


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Notice Cannot be Sent Late

If preliminary notice is required, the failure to provide the required notice within the 120 day time period is fatal to a mechanics lien claim in Maryland.


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Send to Owner

In Maryland the pre-lien notice must only be sent to the property owner. If there are multiple owners of the property, sending to one owner is sufficient. However, if the work of improvement was on a condominium, the notice must be given to all individual condo owners.

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notice Not Required

Maryland does not specifically require preliminary notice to be provided by participants on public works projects in order to be able to make a claim against a payment bond. However, on a state project, a subcontractor is required to inform the state procurement officer if the sub is aware the general received payment, but is late in making payment to the sub.


X
N/A

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

Maryland does not specifically require preliminary notice to be provided by participants on public works projects in order to be able to make a claim against a payment bond. However, on a state project, a subcontractor is required to inform the state procurement officer if the sub is aware the general received payment, but is late in making payment to the sub.


X
No Notice Required from Suppliers

Maryland does not specifically require preliminary notice to be provided by participants on public works projects in order to be able to make a claim against a payment bond. However, on a state project, a sub-tier party is required to inform the state procurement officer if the sub is aware the general received payment, but is late in making payment down the chain.

In Maryland, like in many states, preliminary notices are not required for general contractors or other parties with a direct contractual relationship with the property owner. Maryland does, however, require preliminary notice from subcontractors, suppliers, and others who did not directly contract with the property owner. This notice is kind of more similar to a notice of intent than a traditional preliminary notice since it must be sent within 120 days from the date that the project participant last provided labor or supplies, and can sometimes be called a “notice of lien” despite not being an actual lien itself.

For single-family residential properties, there are some special deadline requirements. The notice must not only be sent within 120 days from the last day, the participant last provided labor or supplies but additionally prior to the property owner, making full payment to the general contractor.

It’s further important to note that liens filed on owner-occupied single-resident properties are also limited to a specific worth dependent on the contract (between the property owner and the general contractor) amount due at the time the property owners received preliminary notice. While there are many reasons that it is best to send preliminary notices early in the project, since the ultimate goal is to provide visibility into project participants, it is worth additional attention when the amount available to be secured by a lien claim depends on the amount left to be paid when notice is received. This means that while Maryland can be an unpaid balance lien state, there is a mechanism in place for subcontractors and suppliers to ensure that is not the case and to be fully protected.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending preliminary notices in Maryland, it's important to understand the rules and requirements in order to make sure your notice is sufficient and compliant. Since prelims are subject to a lot of complex rules and requirements, this can all be difficult. And, Maryland is tough on notice. In the case, Tyson v. Masten Lumber & Supply, Inc., 44 Md. App. 293, 408 A.2d 1051 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1979), the Court expressly stated that improper notice will void a lien. These are some frequently asked questions about the notice process in Maryland.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Maryland Preliminary Notice?

It depends. Preliminary notices are not required from general contractors in contractual privity with the property owner. All parties without a direct contractual relationship with the property owner are required to send notice of intent to lien within 120 days from last furnishing labor or materials.

When do I Need to Send a Maryland Preliminary Notice?

For parties required to send preliminary notice, the notice must be sent within 120 days from the date of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. Some special time requirements apply when the project is an owner-occupied single-family residence, however. In that situation, the notice must be given both within 120 days from last furnishing labor and/or materials, and prior to the property owner making full payment to the general contractor. For projects on an owner-occupied single-family residence, a mechanics lien is limited in amount to the amount due under the contract between the general and the property owner at the time the property owner receives the preliminary notice. Obviously, for a lien claimant in this case, the sooner the notice is delivered the more the lien claimant’s rights are protected.

What if I Send the Maryland Preliminary Notice Late?

How Should the Maryland Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Maryland preliminary notice should be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or personally delivered to the property owner. Notice may potentially be given by regular mail, but, as the burden of proving that the property owner received the preliminary notice rests on the lien claimant, this is not prudent.

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

The preliminary notice must only be sent to the property owner. If there is more than one owner, notice sent to one owner is generally sufficient. However, if the lien is on a condominium project, preliminary notice must generally be sent to all condominium owners.

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

Maryland preliminary notices are considered delivered when sent, but actual receipt is required and the burden to get the mail piece delivered and received by the recipient is on the sending party. See more at How To Send Notice to Owners – Standard Certified Mail, or Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested?

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a Maryland Preliminary Notice?

No. However, on a state project a subcontractor must notify the state procurement officer if the general receives a payment but does not timely pay the subcontractor.

When do I Need to Send a Maryland Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Maryland Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Maryland Preliminary Notice be Sent?

N/A

To Whom Must the Maryland Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

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How to file a lien in Maryland

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Maryland Preliminary Notice Form Template

The Maryland preliminary notice form is specifically regulated by statute. This means that there are certain pieces of information that must be included on the notice form, and that the basics of the form should follow certain guidelines. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Maryland rules. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

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