Rhode Island Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Rhode Island Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Rhode Island Preliminary Notices

Rhode Island Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


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lien waiver forms required
Preliminary Notices Are Required

Rhode Island requires potential lien claimants to provide preliminary notice.


10
DAYS
GCs Must Send Notice

Notice of Possible Mechanic's Lien required within 10 days of commencing work. Additional notice sometimes required in contract. Notice of Intent must be given to Owner within same 200-day period as lien.


200
DAYS
Subs Must Send Notice of Intent

Notice of Intent must be given to Owner within same 200-day period as a lien.


200
DAYS
Suppliers Must Send Notice of Intent

Notice of Intent must be given to Owner within same 200-day period as a lien.


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

Failure to send the required Notice of Intent to Lien within the mandated time period is fatal to a lien claim in Rhode Island. If the general contractor’s Notice to Owner is not provided within the statutory time period, it is fatal to the general’s lien claim.


Icon_SearchContractor
Send to Owner

Notices in Rhode Island are only required to be sent to the property owner.

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Notice Not Required

Rhode Island 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.


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
N/A

Rhode Island 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.


X
N/A

Rhode Island 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.

Rhode Island is interesting in that it imposes more preliminary notice requirements on direct contractors than it does on sub-tier parties. Generally, since preliminary notices are mostly ultimately designed to provide project visibility into parties that otherwise might go unnoticed, more strict preliminary notice requirements follow the farther down the payment chain a participant is.

Rhode Island, however, does not follow that path and instead potentially requires additional notice from direct contractors – presumably pursuant to the impression that a warning in the contract or otherwise from the GC will be more noticeable than a different unrelated document coming from a sub-tier party.

One of the “preliminary notice” requirements imposed upon direct contractors is actually a contractual provision. In all written contracts entered into between a contractor a property owner, there must be a specific “statement that the contractor, subcontractors, or materialpersons may file a lien in accordance with the Rhode Island Mechanics Lien Act.” This provide the warning of a preliminary notice, but unfortunately, not the actionable or otherwise helpful information, since the property owner will still likely be unaware of who, exactly, will be on the job at sub-tier levels.

Additionally, all parties contracting directly with the property owner, lessee, or tenant(other than materials suppliers) must provide a very specific notice “either incorporated conspicuously in a written contract or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, any time prior to commencing work or delivery of materials.” This notice is set out by § 34-28-4.1, and must include the specific following wording:

“NOTICE OF POSSIBLE MECHANIC’S LIEN
To: Insert name of owner, lessee or tenant, or owner of less than the fee simple.
The undersigned is about to perform work and/or furnish materials for the construction, erection, alterations, or repair upon the land at (INSERT ADDRESS) under contract with you. This is a notice that the undersigned and any other persons who provide labor and materials for the improvement under contract with the undersigned may file a mechanic’s lien upon the land in the event of nonpayment to them. It is your responsibility to assure yourself that those other persons under contract with the undersigned receive payment for their work performed and materials furnished for the construction, erection, alteration or repair upon the land.”

With respect, finally, to parties in addition to a direct contractor. Rhode Island requires that all project participants provide a notice of intent to lien to the property owner not later than 200 days after the project participant’s last furnishing of labor or materials to the project. Rhode Island’s notice of intent is unique in that the notice itself is the first part of a subsequent lien claim, which may be perfected after the notice is sent to the owner by filing the notice document itself.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending preliminary notices in Rhode Island, it's important to get all the details right - especially since sending the notice late or incorrectly can have significant consequences. Likewise, 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, this can all be a difficult and tedious process. These are some frequently asked questions about the Rhode Island preliminary notice process.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Rhode Island Preliminary Notice?

Yes. Rhode Island requires potential lien claimants to provide preliminary notice. However, in Rhode Island, the Notice of Intent is a required first step in the perfection of the actual lien itself. Once the Notice of Intent has been mailed (registered or certified mail, return receipt requested) it may be filed, and the subsequent filing perfects the lien. There are different preliminary notices that may be required depending on the project type and the role of the potential lien claimant. All potential lien claimants are required to send a Notice of Intent to Lien for projects in Rhode Island in order to have mechanics lien rights. The notice must be sent with a statement that the Notice of Intent may be filed in the appropriate land records and that the mailing and filing of the Notice of Intent combined will be sufficient to perfect the lien. General contractors are also required to provide an additional earlier notice to the property owner or lessee/tenant of land on which they are furnishing labor and/or materials.

When do I Need to Send a Rhode Island Preliminary Notice?

The Notice of Intent to Lien must be mailed to the property owner no later than 200 days after the date on which the lien claimant last furnished labor and/or materials to the project. As this notice actually functions as the lien itself when filed, the period for sending the notice is the same as the period in which the lien must be filed. The general contractor’s notice to owner must be received within 10 days from the commencement of work.

What if I Send the Rhode Island Preliminary Notice Late?

Failure to send the required Notice of Intent to Lien within the mandated time period is fatal to a lien claim in Rhode Island, as sending and (later) filing the Notice of Intent is what perfects the lien claim. If the general contractor’s Notice to Owner is not provided within the statutory time period, it is fatal to the general’s lien claim. Further, the general who fails to give the notice must “indemnify and hold harmless any owner, lessee or tenant, or owner of less than the fee simple from any payment or costs incurred on account of any liens claims by those not in privity with them, unless such owner, lessee or tenant, or owner of less that the fee simple shall not have paid such person”.

How Should the Rhode Island Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Preliminary notice must only be given to the property owner (and lessee/tenant if applicable)

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

Preliminary notice must only be given to the property owner (and lessee/tenant if applicable).

Is the Rhode Island Preliminary Notice Requirement met when sent or delivered?

The preliminary notice is considered delivered when sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a Rhode Island Preliminary Notice?

No. Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Rhode Island Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Rhode Island Preliminary Notice be Sent?

N/A

To Whom Must the Rhode Island Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

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How to file a lien in Rhode Island

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Rhode Island Preliminary Notice Form Template

Rhode Island preliminary notice forms are regulated by statute, and some have very specific information and form requirements that must be complied with or substantially followed. While not all Rhode Island preliminary notice forms must look a certain way, they all have information that needs to be included. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Rhode Island rules. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

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