Massachusetts Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

Ready? Build Your Free Massachusetts
Preliminary Notice Now

Send A Notice Now
Massachusetts Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Massachusetts Preliminary Notice

Massachusetts Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


  • Private Jobs
  • Public Jobs
  • Top Links
lien waiver forms required
Preliminary Notices Are Required by Non-Prime Contractors

A Notice of Identification needs to be provided by anyone who did not contract directly with the general contractor or property owner (i.e. a party who was contracted by a subcontractor) within 30 days of first providing labor and services on a project.

A notice of (subcontract) is required form all parties and must be filed in the registry of deeds.


60 or 90
DAYS
GCs Must Send Notice

A Notice of Contract must be filed after the contract is executed, and no later than the earliest of 1) 60 days after filing of the Notice of Substantial Completion, 2) 90 days after the filing of the Notice of Termination, or 3) 90 days after last furnishing labor or materials to the project.


30
DAYS
Subcontractors Must Send Notice

Second-tier or lower subs must provide notice of identification to prime contractor within 30 days of commencing work.

All subs must file a notice of subcontract after the contract is executed, and no later than the earliest of 1) 60 days after filing of the Notice of Substantial Completion, 2) 90 days after the filing of the Notice of Termination, or 3) 90 days after last furnishing labor or materials to the project.


30
DAYS
Suppliers Must Send Notice

Suppliers to subs must provide notice of identification to prime contractor within 30 days of commencing work.

All suppliers must file a notice of subcontract after the contract is executed, and no later than the earliest of 1) 60 days after filing of the Notice of Substantial Completion, 2) 90 days after the filing of the Notice of Termination, or 3) 90 days after last furnishing labor or materials to the project.


icon-can't waive lien rights
Notice Generally Cannot be Given Late

While not necessarily completely fatal to a subsequent lien claim, failure to provide the notice of identification by the general 30-day deadline limits any subsequent lien to the amount due to the first tier subcontractor at the time the lower-tier lien claimant files his notice of contract.

Failure to file the notice of contract by the required deadline is completely fatal to any subsequent lien claim.


Icon_SearchContractor
Send to GC and File With Register of Deeds

An identification notice must be delivered to the GC. And, a notice of contract must be filed with the register of deeds.

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notice Not Generally Required

Massachusetts does not generally require a project participant to provide a preliminary notice in order to make a claim against a payment bond. However, parties furnishing specially fabricated materials do need to send a preliminary notice to gain protection in the event the materials are not ultimately delivered or installed.


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.


X
No Notice Required from Subs

Massachusetts does not require a subcontractor to provide a preliminary notice in order to make a claim against a payment bond.


20
DAYS
Suppliers of Specially Fabricated Materials Must Provide Preliminary Notice

Generally, preliminary notice is not required from material suppliers on public jobs in Massachusetts. However, parties furnishing specially fabricated materials are required to send a preliminary notice to gain protection in the event the materials are not ultimately delivered or installed.

Notice of Identification needs to be provided by anyone who did not contract directly with the general contractor or property owner (i.e. a party who was contracted by a subcontractor) within 30 days of first providing labor and services on a project. Failure to give the notice limits the project participant to the amount due to the 1st tier subcontractor at the time the lien claimant files his notice of contract.

There are additional requirements for project participants in Massachusetts but whether the requirements are “notice” requirements, or a 1st step to the lien claim itself is up for debate. However, taxonomy debate notwithstanding, a notice of contract (or subcontract) must be filed by all parties who have a written contract with the owner, general contractor, or subcontractor. This notice must be filed in the Registry of Deeds and, if the lien claimant does not have a contract with the property owner, it must be provided to the property owner as well. This is a prerequisite to filing the “statement of account” which, depending on point of view is either the mechanics lien claim itself, or the second part of the filing that completes the document with the notice of (sub)contract.

A Notice of Contract (or subcontract) must be filed after the contract is executed, and no later than the earliest of 1) 60 days after filing of the Notice of Substantial Completion, 2) 90 days after the filing of the Notice of Termination, or 3) 90 days after last furnishing labor or materials to the project. However, like with notice requirements in other states, this deadline, while being the last possible date by which a valid notice may be sent (or filed) does not represent the best practice date for compliance with the requirement. Participants on Massachusetts jobs should consider filing the notice of (sub)contract as early as possible after the contract is signed, because any future lien claim lien may be limited to the amount due to the general or sub at the time the notice is received.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

It's important to understand the rules and requirements associated with preliminary notices in Massachusetts in order to ensure that you remain protected and provide the required information and visibility. failure to comply with the complex rules and requirements to which Massachusetts preliminary notices are subject can result in a loss of rights, or other frustrating situations. iSince prelims are subject to a lot of complex rules and requirements, this can all be difficult. These are some frequently asked questions about the notice process in Massachusetts.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Massachusetts Preliminary Notice?

Yes. Massachusetts has notice requirements as a prerequisite for filing a valid mechanics lien. The notice requirements vary by role on the project.

A Notice of Identification should be provided to the general contractor by any party who has a contract with a subcontractor (or other party), and does not have a contract with the general contractor. This notice should be given within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials. Failure to give the notice limits the lien claimant to the amount due to the 1st tier subcontractor at the time the lien claimant files his Notice of Contract.

A Notice of Contract (or subcontract) must be filed by all parties who have a written contract with the owner, general contractor, or subcontractor. This notice must be filed in the Registry of Deeds and, if the lien claimant does not have a contract with the property owner, it must be provided to the property owner as well.

When do I Need to Send a Massachusetts Preliminary Notice?

A Notice of Identification, for parties required to provide it, should be provided to the general contractor within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project. A Notice of Contract (or subcontract) must be filed after the contract is executed, and no later than the earliest of 1) 60 days after filing of the Notice of Substantial Completion, 2) 90 days after the filing of the Notice of Termination, or 3) 90 days after last furnishing labor or materials to the project.

To best protect their rights, lien claimants should file the Notice as quickly as possible after entering into a contract, because the lien may be limited to the amount due to the general or sub at the time the notice is received.

What if I Send the Massachusetts Preliminary Notice Late?

If the Notice of Identification is not provided in the proper time period, the lien claimant is limited to the amount due to the first tier subcontractor at the time the lien claimant files his Notice of Contract. Failure to file the Notice of Contract timely is fatal to the lien claim. Even if filed timely, if payments are made by the owner or the general contractor abandons the project before the Notice of Contract is filed, the lien claimant may be limited in the amount of his lien claim.

How Should the Massachusetts Preliminary Notice be Sent?

The Notice of Contract must be filed in the registry of deeds in the county where the property is located. Lien claimants without a contract with the property owner must also send the notice to the property owner by certified mail, return receipt requested. The Notice of Identification must be provided to the general contractor and the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested.

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

Yes. The Notice of Contract must be filed in the Registry of Deeds. The Notice of Identification must be provided to the general contractor.

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

Massachusetts notices are considered delivered when sent, and recorded when recorded.

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a Massachusetts Preliminary Notice?

Preliminary notice is not generally required in Massachusetts, however, there is an exception for claimants who provide specially fabricated materials to a subcontractor. The timely giving of this notice enables the claimant to make a claim for the purchase price of the materials less salvage value, even if not delivered or installed in the project.

When do I Need to Send a Massachusetts Preliminary Notice?

If required to protect the fabrication of specially fabricated materials, notice must be provided within 20 days after receiving the final approval in writing for the use of the specially fabricated materials.

What if I Send the Massachusetts Preliminary Notice Late?

It is not entirely clear if the failure to give preliminary notice timely bars the specially fabricated material supplier from making a bond claim.

It appears that the claimant may still make a claim for specially fabricated materials that were properly constructed, delivered, and installed.

The claimant will not, however, be able to recover for specially fabricated materials that are not actually installed in the project.

How Should the Massachusetts Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Registered or certified mail, postage prepaid in an envelope addressed to the contractor principal to any place at which the contractor maintains an office or business; or in any manner in which civil process may be served. It is best practice to ensure actual receipt of the notice, as it is unclear what consequences stem from the general contractor’s refusal of service.

To Whom Must the Massachusetts Preliminary Notice be Given?

Preliminary notice must only be provided to the general contractor.

Need More Help with Massachusetts Preliminary Notices?

Ask an Expert for Free

Check Out Our Payment Experts

Recent Questions & Answers
About Massachusetts Preliminary Notices

Can I still do a mechanic lien even though it’s past 90 days from completion 6/01/18 even though they did not send me CO #3 until 10/10/18 in Massachusetts

Hi I sent this question yesterday but got no reply. Hi my original proposal on a project was for $14,900 with an add/alt to paint...

How a Lien Notice works

I want to be sure we take care of the necessary steps before we ever have to file a Lien notice. From what I have...

If I am a subcontractor in Massachusetts, do I have to file a Notice of Subcontract? What about the Notice of Substantial Completion? Do I file that or does someone else? Is this the same as the lien, or do these precede the lien?

I'm the sub on a job in MA. The lien deadline calculator is telling me I have to file a Notice of Subcontract and then...

How to file a lien in Massachusetts

Need to file a Massachusetts mechanics lien? File your mechanics lien with Levelset, the lien experts quickly and easily. Or you can follow the 3 steps below to file a lien yourself with Levelset's free information.
File with the Mechanics Lien Experts
We’re the Mechanics Lien experts. With us it’s fast, easy, affordable, and done right!
File Now

Massachusetts Preliminary Notice Form Template

The Massachusetts preliminary notice forms are regulated by statute. This doesn’t mean that the form necessarily has to look exactly a certain way, but it does mean that the document must contain certain information and generally follow guidelines set forth by Massachusetts law. Additionally, some Massachusetts preliminary notice forms are complex. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Massachusetts rules. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

Massachusetts Notice of Subcontract Form - free from

Massachusetts Notice of Subcontract Form

Filing a Mechanic Lien in Massachusetts requires two filings. The filing of the Notice of Subcontract and the Statement of Account.

Get Form Now

Massachesetts Notice of Identification to General Contractor Form - free from

Massachesetts Notice of Identification to General Contractor Form

Notice of Identification to General Contractor Preliminary Notice of Identification may be sent by a lower tiered contractor (sub-subs, suppliers to subs, and lower tiers)....

Get Form Now

Massachusetts Preliminary Notice Form - free from

Massachusetts Preliminary Notice Form

In Massachusetts, a preliminary notice is only required for sub-subs and suppliers to subs (and lower tiers). However, any other party may send a preliminary...

Get Form Now

Massachusetts Notice of Written Contract Form - free from

Massachusetts Notice of Written Contract Form

Filing a Mechanic Lien in Massachusetts requires two filings. The filing of the Notice of Written Contract and the Statement of Account.

Get Form Now

Helping Thousands of Contractors Like You
With Massachusetts Preliminary Notices