Sending a Michigan preliminary notice is an effective way to speed up payment on a construction project. A preliminary notice is an informational document typically sent to the property owner near the beginning of a construction project. Here's what you need to know about the rules and requirements for sending preliminary notice in Michigan.
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Notice of intent to lien
Michigan preliminary notice requirements for:
General contractors are not required to send notice on private projects.
General contractors are not required to send preliminary notice on public projects.
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.
Subcontractors and suppliers must provide notice on private projects.
Notice must be sent within 20 days
Notice may be sent late
Notice is sent to owner and GC
This deadline is extended for laborers, who have 30 days after wages were due, and not paid, to serve notice. Additionally, subs must provide a sworn statement like the GC on residential projects, prior to receipt of payment.
2nd-tier subcontractors and suppliers must send notice on public projects.
Notice must be sent within 30 days
Notice cannot be sent late
Notice is sent to GC and public entity
Suppliers or others who contract with the GC are not specifically required to send preliminary notice.
There are a lot of rules and requirements surrounding providing Michigan preliminary notices, so it's important to make sure that you get the details right. Different notices can be required at different times depending on the specific project and the work being done. It can be a harder than it should be to make sure that the notice you're sending is effective and correct. Here are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about the Michigan preliminary notice process.
A prime contractor is not generally required to give any preliminary notice in Michigan, but must provide a list of subcontractors and suppliers, if requested. Any party who does not have a direct contract with the property owner (or owner’s agent) must provide a Notice of Furnishing within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project.
On a residential project, a Sworn Statement must be provided to the owner (by a prime contractor) and to the prime contractor (by a subcontractor) before being paid any progress or final payment. The statement lists all subcontractors, sub-subs, suppliers, and laborers, with whom the party has contracted and lists amounts unpaid to them, if any.
When do I need to send an Michigan Preliminary Notice?
A Notice of Furnishing is required to be given no later than 20 days after first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If the lien claimant is a laborer, the notice must be given within 30 days from when wages were due. However, quicker noticing may be advisable because the owner is not liable for amounts already paid to the contractor prior to receiving the notice. The Sworn Statement should be provided whenever payment is due or requested on a residential project.
What if I send the Michigan Preliminary Notice Late?
If the Notice of Furnishing is not provided timely, all is not necessarily lost. The failure to give the notice within the proper time period is not fatal to a lien claim in Michigan, but will reduce the amount of the lien by any amount paid by the owner for that work prior to the receipt of the notice.
How Should the Michigan Preliminary Notice be Sent?
The Notice of Furnishing should be served on the owner’s designee (or owner if no person is designated by the notice of commencement) and the general contractor either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested.
If you are a claimant with no contract with the general contractor, preliminary notice is required. This means all second-tier (and below) subcontractors and suppliers are required to provide preliminary notice in order to retain the ability to make a claim against the payment bond in the event of nonpayment.
To Whom Must the Michigan Preliminary Notice be Given?
Preliminary notice must be sent to the general contractor.
People are asking Michigan construction attorneys:
can I file a lien
You should consider preparing a letter to mail by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the contractor to set out the facts and to demand the relief that you want. Attach your invoice for what you are owed. Make sure that your letter is professional and business like as it may be evidence later. You should provide the owner and contractor with a certified mail notice of non-payment with a request that the owner trap funds, and with a request that the owner withhold retainage from the contractor. Retain a construction attorney to determine whether or not you have mechanic's lien rights. Good luck.
How many NTO's do I have to send? Does first furnishing account for work done before setting foot on the jobsite?
If in Florida, you'll want to send one for each property because each owner needs to know you are working on their property if you ever want to lien. If the product is considered a custom made good then arguably the 45 days begins to run with the pre-work.
Some professional services may give rise to a construction lien, but furniture leasing and house staging are not within that statutorily defined group. If you have not yet recovered your furniture you should see a lawyer about that process right away. Besides recovering the furnishings it seems that your remedy would seem to be a lawsuit for breach of contract damages (nonpayment for services). To give yourself financial protection in any contract always include a clause that says: "The prevailing party in the enforcement of this agreement may recover its attorney's fees, including legal services to determine the amount of fees to be awarded."
On most projects, parties who contract directly with the property owner are not required to deliver a preliminary notice, although if requested to do so a direct contractor must provide a list of subs and suppliers on the project. On residential projects, however, providing notice is specifically required of direct contractors. Prior to receiving any progress or final payment, the contractor must provide the property owner with a sworn statement listing all sub-tier parties with whom the contractor has contracted and the amounts unpaid to them, if any. This sworn statement notice is to allow the property owner to keep track of liabilities down the payment chain, to gain project visibility, and to serve as a check for the receipt of lien waivers from sub-tier parties. Likewise, the sworn statement is also required of subcontractors on residential projects, is delivered to the GC, and lists the sub-tier parties with whom the sub contracted, and amounts due (if any).
Michigan also has preliminary notice rules for parties performing work on public projects. Every 2nd-tier subcontractor or below, that is everybody who didn’t contract with either the public entity or the general contractor, must deliver a preliminary notice within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials.
First, read the guide to preliminary notices in Michigan. The guide introduces you to the notice of furnishing form, including what you need to include, who you need to send it to, when it needs to be sent, and how it needs to be sent.
Next, download a copy of the Michigan preliminary notice. Michigan mechanics lien law is strict when it comes to the language and formatting for construction notices. Levelset’s free forms were written by construction attorneys to meet those requirements, making this part easy for you to get right.
Fill out the notice form
Be careful! Accuracy is important.
The next step is to fill the form out. To ensure you secure your right to file a mechanics lien, be careful to include al the required information and make sure that information is 100% accurate. Failure to do this could forfeit your Michigan lien rights.
Deliver your notice
Lastly, it’s time to deliver the Michigan preliminary notice. You have two delivery options: either by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested.
Send your notice to the owner or the owner’s designee within 20 days of first furnishing. Laborers have 30 days from when payment was due.
How to send a Preliminary Notice with Levelset
Select Preliminary Notice document.
Provide basic job information.
Levelset sends the document for you. Postage included!