Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice

Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


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Preliminary Notices Required

Preliminary notice of furnishing is required on projects that are over $1.5MM and have been registered with he PA Construction Notice Directory. Additionally, a notice of intent to lien is required on all projects from parties who did not contract with the owner.


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GCs Not Required To Send Notice

Project participants that contracted directly with the property owner are not required to provide preliminary notice in PA.


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Subcontractors Must Send Notice

On projects of more than $1.5 million, if a Notice of Commencement was filed in the State Construction Registry, a Notice of Furnishing must be filed through the registry within 45 days of first furnishing labor and materials. On all projects, a notice of intent to lien is required 30 days before filing a lien.


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Suppliers Must Send Notice

On projects of more than $1.5 million, if a Notice of Commencement was filed in the State Construction Registry, a Notice of Furnishing must be filed through the registry within 45 days of first furnishing labor and materials. On all projects, a notice of intent to lien is required 30 days before filing a lien.


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Notice Cannot be Sent Late

If required, failure to file the Notice of Furnishing on time is fatal to a subsequent lien claim. Failure to send the required Notice of Intent to Lien within the mandated time period is also fatal to a lien claim in Pennsylvania.


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Send to Property Owner File In Registry

Preliminary notice of furnishing must be filed in the Pennsylvania state construction notices registry. Notice of intent to lien must only be provided to the property owner.

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notice Not Required

Pennsylvania does not require preliminary notice to be delivered by any project participant in order to retain the right to make a claim against the payment bond secured for a public project. However, sending preliminary notice even when not required is generally beneficial to promote visibility, open channels for communication, and streamline payment.


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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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Notice Not Required from Subs

Pennsylvania does not require preliminary notice to be delivered by any project participant in order to retain the right to make a claim against the payment bond secured for a public project. However, sending preliminary notice even when not required is generally beneficial to promote visibility, open channels for communication, and streamline payment.


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Notice Not Required from Suppliers

Pennsylvania does not require preliminary notice to be delivered by any project participant in order to retain the right to make a claim against the payment bond secured for a public project. However, sending preliminary notice even when not required is generally beneficial to promote visibility, open channels for communication, and streamline payment.

Pennsylvania only relatively recently joined the ranks of the more “traditional” preliminary notice states, and added an additional potentially required preliminary notice to the already required notice of intent to lien. While Pennsylvania jumped right in to the deep end with the creation of an electronic notice database, they only tested the waters with respect to the projects and situations in which the notice requirement applies. In Pennsylvania, most projects on which preliminary notice will be required will be larger-scale commercial projects.

Pennsylvania decided to modify the notice scheme and passed legislation that went into effect on the last day of 2016. From that date, property owners in Pennsylvania who are contracting for construction work that exceeds $1.5MM can choose to register their project in the Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory by filing a Notice of Commencement. If the property owner chooses to do so, all project participants who do not contract directly with the property owner will be required to provide a preliminary notice, called a Notice of Furnishing in Pennsylvania, within 45 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project in order to retain lien rights.

Parties required to provide a Notice of Furnishing must do so by filing through the directory. A failure to file a Notice of Furnishing within 45 days will result in a forfeiture of lien rights. No party (owner, contractor, sub, supplier, etc.) may suggest, request, encourage or require another party not to file a Notice of Furnishing. This Notice of Furnishing form is included in the Pennsylvania mechanics lien statute. General contractors need not provide a Notice of Furnishing in order to preserve their lien rights.

Additionally, parties without a direct contract with the owner are required to send a notice of intent to lien to the property owner (or owner’s agent) at least 30 days prior to filing the lien on all projects. It’s important to note that providing this notice does not extend the time in which a participant must file a mechanics lien, if one becomes necessary.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending preliminary notices in Pennsylvania, it's important to get all the details right. Whether sending a preliminary notice of furnishing or a notice of intent there are rules and regulations that apply - and not knowing what to do or missing a deadline can have significant consequences. If you're receiving prelims, it's important to know what you're looking at and know what to do in followup. Sending and receiving prelims can be a tedious and time consuming process for everyone involved. These are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about the Pennsylvania preliminary notice process.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice?

It depends. Any party with a direct contract with the property owner is not required to give any preliminary notice. For all other potential lien claimants, if the project is more than $1.5 million AND the property owner chose to file a Notice of Commencement in the State Construction Notice Registry, a Notice of Furnishing must be filed in the construction registry within 45 days of first providing labor or materials to the project.

Notice of Intent to Lien: Additionally, lien claimants without a contract directly with the owner must provide the property owner (or owner’s agent) with a formal Notice of Intent to File a Lien. Further discussion here: Pennsylvania Notice of Intent to Lien Guide and FAQs.

When do I Need to Send a Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice?

The Notice of Furnishing, if required, must be filed in the registry within 45 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project.

The Notice of Intent to Lien must be received by the property owner (or owner’s agent) at least 30 days prior to the lien claimant filing the lien.

What if I Send the Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice Late?

Failure to file the Notice of Furnishing, if required, is fatal to a subsequent lien claim.

Failure to send the required Notice of Intent to Lien within the mandated time period is fatal to a lien claim in Pennsylvania

How Should the Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice be Sent?

The Notice of Furnishing must be filed in the state construction notice registry.

The Notice of Intent to Lien may be sent by either first class, registered, or certified mail, or by personal service.

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

No. Preliminary notice must only be given to the property owner (or owner’s agent). A preliminary notice of furnishing, however, is given to the owner through filing on the Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Registry website.

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

The preliminary notice is considered delivered when filed in the construction registry (for Notice of Furnishing) or when sent, or personally served for the Notice of Intent.

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice?

No. Pennsylvania does not require preliminary notice to preserve rights on public projects. However, sending preliminary notice even when not required is generally beneficial to promote visibility, open channels for communication, and streamline payment.

When do I Need to Send a Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice?

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What if I Send the Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice Late?

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How Should the Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice be Sent?

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To Whom Must the Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice be Given?

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How to file a lien in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Preliminary Notice Form Template

The Oregon preliminary notice forms are regulated by statute. For the preliminary notice of furnishing, there is a specific form template created by the state that must be substantially followed. A notice of intent to lien doesn’t necessarily have to look some specific exact way, but there is required information that must be included on the document. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Pennsylvania rules. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

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