South Carolina Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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South Carolina Preliminary Notice FAQs

About South Carolina Preliminary Notices

South Carolina Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


  • Private Jobs
  • Public Jobs
Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notices Are Not Specifically Required

It depends. General contractors may file a Notice of Commencement with the Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds for the county in which the property is located. While this notice is not mandatory, it provides some protection to the general contractor.


15
DAYS
GCs Are Not Required to Send Notice

A general contractor can file a Notice of Commencement within 15 days of a projects commencement to either the Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds in the property’s county.


PRIOR to LIEN
Subcontractors May Send Notice to Protect Lien Amount

If contracted with a party other than the property owner, potential claimant may serve the owner and GC with a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials in order to fully protect their potential lien claim from being reduced by payments made above.


PRIOR to LIEN
Suppliers May Send Notice to Protect Lien Amount

If contracted with a party other than the property owner, potential claimant may serve the owner and GC with a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials in order to fully protect their potential lien claim from being reduced by payments made above.


icon-can
No Specific Time For Notice of Furnishing

Id a direct contractor chooses to file a notice of commencement, it must be filed within 15 days of starting work in order to be valid. There is not set time period for delivering a notice of furnishing, so it cannot technically be late, but the earlier the better to protect the full amount that may be due the noticing party.


Icon_SearchContractor
Send to Owner and GC. File Notice of Commencement

Notice of commencement must be filed with the Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds for the county in which the project is located.

A notice of furnishing must be provided to the property owner and GC.

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notice Not Specifically Required (but helpful)

South Carolina 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 a preliminary notice can protect the full amount due to the project participant. Additionally, 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
Notice Not Specifically Required from Subs (but helpful)

South Carolina 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 a preliminary notice can protect the full amount due to the project participant. Additionally, sending preliminary notice even when not required is generally beneficial to promote visibility, open channels for communication, and streamline payment.


X
Notice Not Specifically Required from Suppliers (but helpful)

South Carolina 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 a preliminary notice can protect the full amount due to the project participant. Additionally, sending preliminary notice even when not required is generally beneficial to promote visibility, open channels for communication, and streamline payment.

South Carolina is technically a non-notice state, that doesn’t specifically require preliminary notices to be provided by project participants on construction projects in the state. However, unlike some other non-notice states, South Carolina specifically contemplates preliminary notices that can have tangible, practical, and significant impacts to participants’ rights, if sent.

While South Carolina doesn’t mandate that preliminary notice be sent, it does provide for preliminary notices that have an effect if a participant chooses to send or file them. This means that despite not being required – sending preliminary notices in South Carolina is a good idea for more reasons than the fact that it’s always a good idea to send preliminary notice, even if not required.

Direct contractors may file a Notice of Commencement with the Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds for the county in which the property is located. While not mandatory, this notice provides some protection to the general contractor. If the notice of commencement is filed, the amount of liens filed by remote claimants (sub-subs, or suppliers to subs) may not exceed the amount the general contractor owes to the subcontractor with whom the remote claimant contracted. In essence the direct contractor can attempt to artificially turn South Carolina from a “full-price” lien state into an “unpaid balance” lien state.

The second voluntary preliminary notice that can have significant consequence is for sub-tier participants. Basically, this notice gives the sub-tier participants the ability to short circuit the direct contractor’s ability to limit their lien by filing a notice of commencement. If sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors do their research, finding out that a notice of commencement has been filed, they may in turn file a Notice of Furnishing Labor and Materials that can be served to the general contractor via certified mail with return receipt requested. If the sub-tier party delivers a notice of furnishing, payments by the owner to the contractor or by the contractor to the sub will not lessen the amount subject to lien of the sub-tier party.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending preliminary notices in South Carolina, it's important to get all the details right so you know what to send and when to get the most benefit out of your notice. 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 difficult. These are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about the South Carolina preliminary notice process.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a South Carolina Preliminary Notice?

It depends. General contractors may file a Notice of Commencement with the Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds for the county in which the property is located. While this notice is not mandatory, it provides some protection to the general contractor. If the Notice of Commencement is filed, the amount of liens filed by remote claimants (sub-subs, or suppliers to subs) may not exceed the amount the general contractor owes to the subcontractor with whom the remote claimant contracted.

If the lien claimant contracted with a party other than the property owner, the potential lien claimant may deliver a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials prior to filing and serving the lien claim itself. Note, though, that the amount recoverable by lien of a remote claimant is limited to the amount owed by the general contractor to the party who hired the remote claimant – so earlier is better.

When do I Need to Send a South Carolina Preliminary Notice?

In order to have effect, the Notice of Commencement must be filed by the general contractor within 15 days of the commencement of work.

There is no time limit by which the Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials is required to be filed. However, the amount recoverable by lien of a remote claimant is limited to the amount owed by the general contractor to the party who hired the remote claimant.

What if I Send the South Carolina Preliminary Notice Late?

If the general contractor fails to timely file the notice of commencement, his payment to a subcontractor does not reduce the amount recoverable by a lower-tiered party (however, in no case may the total amount of lien exceed the amount due by the owner).

The Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials is not required to be filed by any specific point in time. Note, though, that the amount recoverable by lien of a remote claimant is limited to the amount owed by the general contractor to the party who hired the remote claimant – so earlier is better. Also, according to some sources, it may not matter anyway if the general contractor filed a notice of commencement.

How Should the South Carolina Preliminary Notice be Sent?

The general contractor’s Notice of Commencement must be filed with the Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds for the county in which the project is located.

The Notice of Furnishing should be served by certified mail.

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

The general contractor’s Notice of Commencement must be filed with the Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds for the county in which the project is located.

Notice of Furnishing should be provided to the property owner (if the noticing party contracted with the GC); or to the owner and general contractor if the noticing party contracted with a party other than the owner or GC.

Is the South Carolina Preliminary Notice Requirement met when sent or delivered?

The Notice of Furnishing is considered delivered when sent by certified mail.

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a South Carolina Preliminary Notice?

It depends. Any party without a contract with the general contractor must give preliminary notice in order to secure the right to make a claim for the full amount due. If the notice is not given, the claim is limited to the amount due to the hiring party by the general. However, if the general contractor fails to file a Notice of Project Commencement within 15 days after beginning the project, preliminary notices are not required, but it still probably best practice to send them.

When do I Need to Send a South Carolina Preliminary Notice?

South Carolina law does not provide a specific date by which the preliminary notice needs to be given. However, the sooner the notice is given, the better because claim cannot exceed the amount owed on the contract by the general contractor when the claimant. After notice is given, however, payment by the general contractor to a sub will not decrease the amount recoverable by the remote claimant.

What if I Send the South Carolina South Carolina Preliminary Notice Late?

A claim may still be made, but the claim may not exceed the amount due by the general contractor to the hiring party when the claim is made.

How Should the South Carolina Preliminary Notice be Sent?

The preliminary notice may be served personally, sent by fax or email, or mailed via registered or certified mail.

To Whom Must the South Carolina Preliminary Notice be Given?

Preliminary notice should be given to the general contractor who supplied the bond, and it is advisable to also give notice to the contracting public entity.

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Recent Questions & Answers
About South Carolina Preliminary Notices

Notice of Furnishing – Date Last Delivered

Good Afternoon, I am creating a 'Notice of Furnishing' document for our project 'Holly Hills, SC - O'Reilly'. The document details page requires that I...

We are owed retainage on 2 projects for schools that we completed in 2017. Both of these schools are in South Carolina, one was completed 8/2/2017 and the other completed 12/27/2017. The GC is telling us they haven’t received the retainage payment from the owner. Are we able to send a notice of non-payment for these?

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South Carolina Preliminary Notice Form Template

Just because South Carolina preliminary notices are not specifically required to be provided doesn’t mean that there are no rules pr requirements surrounding the forms and that any form can be used. The information required to be included on a South Carolina preliminary notice form is regulated by statute. This doesn’t mean that the form has to look a certain way, but it does mean that the document must contain certain information. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the South Carolina rules. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

South Carolina Notice of Furnishing Labor and Materials Form - free from

South Carolina Notice of Furnishing Labor and Materials Form

This Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials is used to provide South Carolina preliminary notice on construction projects. Any party who does not have a...

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South Carolina Notice of SubContract Form - free from

South Carolina Notice of SubContract Form

If you are a 2nd or 3rd tier subcontractor or supplier, you may want to consider sending a Notice of Subcontract to the contractor. While...

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South Carolina Notice of Contract Form - free from

South Carolina Notice of Contract Form

While not required, a prime contractor may benefit from filing and posting a Notice of Contract. This must be filed with the recorder within 15...

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