Sending an Ohio 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 Ohio.
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Ohio preliminary notice requirements for:
General contractors are not required to send notice on private projects.
General contractors are not required to send notice on public projects.
Since GCs will not make a claim against their own bond or their own money for non-payment, they do not have bond claim or lien on fund rights, and have no preliminary notice requirement.
Subcontractors and suppliers are required to send notice on private projects.
Notice must be sent within 21 days
Notice can be sent late
Send notice to owner, GC, or designee
Notice of furnishing due within 21 days of first furnishing labor or materials - or 21 days from the filing of a notice of commencement.
Subcontractors and suppliers must send notice on public projects.
Notice must be sent within 21 days
Notice can be sent late
Notice must be sent to the GC
All claimants without a direct contract with the general contractor (excluding wage laborers), who will provide more than $30,000 of work or material must send a preliminary notice in order to preserve their bond claim rights and lien rights.
If you're working on Ohio projects, it's important to know the rules and requirements surrounding sending preliminary notices. And, it's important to get all the details right. If you're receiving prelims, it's important to know what you're looking at and know what to do in followup. Since prelims in Ohio are subject to a lot of complex rules and requirements, some of which are completely out of your own control, this can be difficult and tedious. These are some frequently asked questions (and their answers) about the Ohio preliminary notice process.
The Notice of Furnishing must be received or mailed by certified mail within 21 days from the claimant’s first furnishing of labor and/or materials when a Notice of Commencement has been properly filed with the county recorder. Early notice is ineffective, and if sent by certified mail, it must be sent after the first delivery of labor and/or materials.
If the Notice of Commencement was filed late, the preliminary notice must be given within 21 days from the date the Notice of Commencement was filed. A potential lien claimant is not required to give preliminary notice prior to the filing of the Notice of Commencement. If the Notice of Commencement is never filed, the preliminary notice is not necessary.
Finally, if the property owner, or any other party with an interest in the property or contractor requests it, the lien claimant must provide a written statement of the work and/or material provided and the amount unpaid within 10 days of the request. Failure to do so may extinguish lien rights.
If the preliminary notice is given late, not all is necessarily lost. In Ohio, late preliminary notice covers the 21 days before the date the notice is served, and it’s effective to protect work performed afterward.
The preliminary notice must either be personally served by the county sheriff (or by other means as provided by Ohio law) or by certified mail, registered mail, overnight delivery, or hand delivery, provided a written receipt is obtained.
Do I Have to Send the Ohio Preliminary Notice to Someone Other than the Owner?
The preliminary notice must be given to the owner’s (or part owner’s or lessee’s) designee as provided by the Notice of Commencement. If no designee is given, or the designee has died or otherwise ceased to exist, the notice must be provided to the owner, part owner, or lessee.
The preliminary notice must also be provided to the general contractor if the lien claimant is not in direct contract with the general contractor – subject to some exceptions.
Finally, the preliminary notice may be given to any construction or other lender – but this is purely at the discretion of the lien claimant.
Is the Ohio Preliminary Notice Requirement met when sent or delivered?
If sent by certified mail, the preliminary notice is considered complete on the date of mailing. If service on the owner is attempted at the address listed on the notice of commencement and the service is returned or refused, the service is considered complete on the first date of the first attempt.
Lien on Contract Funds: All claimants without a direct contract with the general contractor (excluding wage laborers) must send a preliminary notice in order to preserve their lien rights.
Bond Claim: All claimants without a direct contract with the general contractor (excluding wage laborers) must send a preliminary notice in order to preserve their lien rights, provided that the labor and/or materials furnished were more than $30,000. Note that no parties are required to send a preliminary notice on a highway construction project but it may be best practice to do so anyway if supplying more than $30,000 of labor and/or materials.
Lien on Contact Funds: Notice to the general contractor should be given within 21 days after the claimant’s first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project. If served by certified mail, the date of mailing must be within the 21-day period, not the date of actual receipt. If served personally, it must be actually served within the 21-day period. Notice to the Public Authority is not specified to occur by any particular date, but it is generally advisable to send the notice as soon as possible after delivering notice to the general contractor.
Bond Claim: Notice should be given within 21 days after the claimant’s first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project. If served by certified mail, the date of mailing must be within the 21-day period, not the date of actual receipt. If served personally, it must be actually served within the 21-day period.
If the preliminary notice is sent after the 21-day deadline, the notice only protects a claim for labor and/or materials furnished within the preceding 21 days and after the notice has been served. If the notice is not given at all, the claimant’s rights to make a bond claim are extinguished.
Preliminary notice may be served via certified mail, or personal service. If served by certified mail, the notice is considered served on the date of mailing; if served by personal service the notice is considered served upon actual service.
It sounds like you might be referring to either Oregon's Information Notice to Owner or the Notice of Right to Lien. Though, it's worth clarifying the timeline for sending those notices. If these weren't the notices you were referring to, feel free to contact one of these Oregon construction lawyers for additional clarity: Find a Oregon Construction Lawyer. Or, you can post additional information below. For the basics on Oregon's preliminary notice requirements: Oregon Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs.
Oregon Information Notice to Owner
If you're hired directly by the property owner, an Information Notice to Owner will be required on owner-occupied residential projects exceeding $2,000. The notice should generally either be included right in the contract itself, or sent within 10 days of signing the contract. If the project was originally supposed to be less than $2,000, but then exceeds that threshold - notice must be given within 5 days. But, to avoid that issue, it's better to simply provide the notice on all owner-occupied residential jobs.
Oregon Notice of Right to Lien
A Notice of Right to Lien is required for parties hired by someone other than the owner on an owner-occupied residential project. The notice is also required for suppliers & specialty material manufacturers on commercial jobs. This notice must be sent within 8 days of beginning work.
What to do when notice timelines are tight
First, note that neither notice is required days before the project begins. Still, the timelines are tight. For the Information Notice to Owner, it might be wise to either make that a part of the form contract being used, or to carry blank copies of the notice to execute along with the contract, separately. Still, even if that's not done, there are a few days to get that sent. For the Notice of Right to Lien, there's a little more flexibility since it isn't sent until after work begins. Still, having the notice ready to go right when work begins could avoid potential pitfalls. In any event, here are free, downloadable templates for both notices which might come in handy: - Oregon Information Notice to Owner Form- Oregon Notice of Right to Lien Form
Are design plan sets considered materials for the purpose of filing a pre-lien
Oregon's Notice to Owner preliminary notice must be sent within 8 days of first furnishing labor or materials for full mechanics lien protection. Keep in mind, though - this notice will preserve lien rights for the 8 days before the notice was sent, as well as all the work done afterward - regardless of when the notice is sent. So, even if notice could be sent based on when plans are given - the vast majority of work would still be covered when notice is based on the first furnishing of materials, equipment, labor, etc. With that being said, keep in mind that the preparation of plans, drawings, or specs will generally only be lienable work for architects, landscape architects, land surveyors, and registered engineers in Oregon. So, if you aren't performing that kind of work, then the first furnishing date would likely be the first date when on-site work or material delivery occurs. Still - if notice is sent based on when some services have begun, that'd be unlikely to be considered "early." And, sending notice based on when plans, specs, etc. are provided would likely be sufficient. For more discussion on Oregon preliminary notices: (1) Oregon Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs; and (2) Everything You Need to Know about Oregon Notice of Right to Lien and Information Notice to Owner.
Our customer changed on a project – send new Prelims?
If preliminary notice was correct and proper, when sent - then there's generally no need to revise that preliminary notice throughout the life of the project. This is true even if there are significant changes during the course of work. Further discussion here: Is it OK to Send Revised Preliminary Notices? Does it Affect My Deadlines? Now, if a separate contract was entered into, then that could create a situation where additional notices might be necessary. Ultimately, though, the Washington mechanics lien statute doesn't provide much insight into situations like this - unfortunately, statute can't cover every possible scenario on a construction site. For more information on Washington's notice requirements: Washington Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs.
Ohio is a state in which preliminary notice (also called Notice of Furnshing) requirements for sub-tier parties are specifically and directly tied to the actions of the parties higher up on the payment chain. Additionally, Ohio is one of the rare states that specifically limits the applicability of preliminary notices to projects other thanresidential projects. Ohio specifically does not require preliminary notices for projects on single or double family residences and condominiums, but, like always, it is generally advisable to give notice anyway.
Other than the residential projects mentioned above, Ohio is one of the few states that requires a Notice of Commencement to be filed. The Notice of Commencement must be filed by the owner or other party authorizing work on the property, and a copy must be posted in a conspicuous place at the job site. Further, a copy must be sent to the general contractor on the project. If the Notice of Commencement is not filed, if it is filed late, if the notice is deficient, or if a copy is requested but not given to a potential claimant, the time to file a lien may be extended and the otherwise required preliminary notice requirements may not apply.
Ohio is interesting in that sending the Notice of Furnishing too soon renders it ineffective – even if the notice was received after labor or material was furnished.Unlike states like California, in which notice can never be sent too early and which specifically allow preliminary notice to be sent at any time, Ohio strictly requires that Notices of Furnishing must be sent after first furnishing labor or materials to the project.
The statute setting forth the Ohio’s Notice of Furnishing requirement (1311.05) states that a party required to give such notice: “shall serve a notice of furnishing . . . at any time after the recording of the notice of commencement or amended notice but within twenty-one days after performing the first labor or work or furnishing the first materials.”
Additionally, a property owner or other interested party may request a written notice of labor or materials provided. If requested, a project participant must provide this statement within 10 days in order to preserve lien rights.
The next step is to download the blank Ohio preliminary notice form. Ohio is strict regarding which information must be included and how the document should be formatted. Our free forms were created by construction attorneys to meet those state requirements.
Fill the form out
Be careful! Accuracy is important.
Make sure you get everything right when filling out your Ohio preliminary notice! Making the slightest mistake could eliminate your right to file a mechanics lien down the line. Include all the required information and make sure it’s 100% accurate.
Deliver your notice
The last step is to deliver your Ohio preliminary notice. You have several options. You can send it via the sheriff’s office, registered mail, or certified mail, return receipt requested.
How to send a Preliminary Notice with Levelset
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