Sending a Mississippi 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 Mississippi.
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Notice of intent to lien
Mississippi preliminary notice requirements for:
General contractors do not need to send preliminary 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 are required to send notice on private projects.
Notice must be sent within 30 days
Notice cannot be sent late
Notice is sent to the GC
If there is no GC, notice is sent to the owner. On single-family residential projects only, all parties who did not contract directly with the property owner must provide the owner with a “pre-lien written notice” (notice of intent to lien) at least 10 days prior to filing a claim of lien.
Subcontractors and suppliers are not required to send notice on public projects.
If you're working on projects in Mississippi it's important to know what notices you may be required to send, the timeline for sending them, and the consequences of making a mistake. It's important to get all the details right, and make sure that the rules and requirements are met in order to make sure your notice is effective. 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, all of this can all be difficult to get a good grasp on. Here are some frequently asked questions about the Mississippi preliminary notice process.
Do I Need to Send a Mississippi Preliminary Notice?
It depends. Contractors who contracted directly with the property owner are not generally required to send any notice. However, if they receive a written request from the property owner, the contractor must provide a list of all subs and materialmen.
A party entitled to lien rights who does not have a contract with either the property owner or the general contractor must provide a preliminary notice to the general contractor (or, if there is no general contractor, to the owner) within 30 days of first furnishing labor and or materials to the project.
On single-family residential projects only, all parties who did not contract directly with the property owner must provide the owner with a “pre-lien written notice” (notice of intent to lien) at least 10 days prior to filing a claim of lien.
Do I Need to Send a Mississippi Preliminary Notice?
No. Mississippi does not require preliminary notice to be sent in order to retain the right to file a valid and enforceable claim against the payment bond obtained for a public works project.
even when not specifically required, though, there can be numerous benefits to sending preliminary notice. Providing notice promotes visibility on the project, gets you noticed, provides information and collaboration, and gets you paid faster.
A Mississippi preliminary notice is governed by §85-7-407(2). Under this statute, the notice should be sent by registered or certified mail, statutory overnight mail, or even by email with a confirmed receipt. As far as the actual contents of the notice, MS law requires a description of the labor, services, or materials being provided and, if known, the contract price or anticipated value of the labor, services, or materials to be provided. Therefore, if you so have this amount readily available, it should be included in the notice. Here are some additional resources that may prove valuable:
Since this is merely a preliminary notice, as opposed to an actual mechanics lien filing, I don't believe legal action is particularly necessary or even warranted. Since Mississippi preliminary notices are not filed documents, there hasn't really been any adverse actions taken or recorded against your property. This may just be a clerical mistake. Even if the rental company does eventually file a mechanics lien, it would be invalid for two reasons; (A) if the lien is filed against your address the property address is wrong, and (B) if the lien is filed against the proper address, they failed to send the required preliminary notice to the real owner.
The best option would be to simply send a letter to the contractor and equipment rental company informing them that the project address they have is incorrect. That way the rental company can send the preliminary notice to the proper owner.
If a cell tower is built on a residential property, would we file paperwork as we would a residential lien?
First, it's worth mentioning that the Mississippi mechanics lien deadline and form requirements don't really change based on whether a project is considered commercial or residential. So, at least for the lien filing itself, that designation might not matter all that much. Of course, for parties hired by someone other than the property owner, notice requirements may change depending on whether the project is considered residential or commercial. And, notice isn't required on commercial jobs. So, if there's any doubt as to whether the project is residential or commercial, treating it as if it's residential is usually the safe option. Usually, an improvement that's entirely non-residential itself will render a job being treated as "commercial." But, Mississippi's mechanics lien statute isn't quite that cut and dry. Under § 85-7-401(i), "residential property" is defined as "single-family and two-family, three-family, and four-family residential real estate." Notably, it doesn't limit residential property to work on the residence itself - rather, that's an encompassing term for real estate where there's a residential structure present. Considering the stakes at hand, and considering the fact that it's a good idea to send notice even when it's not required, the safest way for Mississippi subcontractors, suppliers, and equipment rental companies to proceed is likely to send notice.
Additional Mississippi mechanics lien and notice resources
The preliminary notice for parties who have not contracted directly with the owner or the GC is more traditional. These parties are required to send preliminary notice to the GC (or to the owner if there is no GC) within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project.
Making a mistake on your lien form could hinder your right to file a Mississippi mechanics lien if you’re left unpaid. Include all the required information, and recheck the information you include to ensure it’s completely accurate.
Deliver your notice
Preliminary notices in Mississippi must be sent by registered or certified mail, by statutory overnight delivery, or by e-mail with confirmed receipt.
Make sure your notice is sent within 30 days of first work, and send the notice to the general contractor. If there’s no GC, the notice may be sent to the owner.
How to send a Preliminary Notice with Levelset
Select Preliminary Notice document.
Provide basic job information.
Levelset sends the document for you. Postage included!