Sending a Washington DC 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 Washington DC.
If you're sending preliminary notices in Washington D.C., 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 are subject to a lot of complex rules and requirements, this can all be difficult. Not to mention that the process is tedious for everyone involved. These are some frequently asked questions about the Washington D.C. preliminary notice process.
Washington D.C. Private Project Preliminary Notice FAQs
How do I put a lien on the property and sue these people for kicking me out after remodeling and getting my tools stolen
First, filing a lien under the circumstances you present is problematic. There are strict deadlines for noticing intent and recording your lien. Sounds to me like this is an afterthought and not within 4 months of your last date of work, but perhaps I'm wrong there. In any event, if you're seeking items from two years ago, I doubt that would go well for you under a mechanic's lien theory of recovery.
Second, it doesn't sound like there was much of an arrangement between you and the owner, this was something you were doing to improve the residence you were living in.
Third, if you're broke, what good is the mechanic's lien anyway? Even if it were valid, you'd still need to take action on it to pursue it. If they've just refi'd, I imagine the property is encumbered to a not-insignificant extent. The loan already closed, so presumably they aren't going to refi again or sell very soon. If you don't have the money to pursue a wrongful eviction, foreclosure likely isn't within your current financial ability to pursue. If you aren't going to foreclose, then you still have other claims and remedies, but I'd think you'd handle most of those claims and damages within a wrongful eviction case, should you ever have the means to pursue that case.
I have not been paid and didnt file the 20 day due 9 months ago
Most likely your best course of action at this point would be a demand letter and potentially a breach of contract action against the GC who has not paid you. If there is a payment bond on the project your may still have time to make a claim against this bond. But otherwise, because you did not send preliminary notice, you would not have lien rights.
It’s rare that a state has no preliminary notice requirements for any party on any project, but that’s the case in Washington DC (even though it’s not really a state).
While there may be no specific requirements to provide a preliminary notice in the District of Columbia, that doesn’t mean that providing some the of notice is a bad idea. In fact, providing preliminary notice, even when not required, is usually the smart thing to do. Providing a voluntary preliminary notice document, provided it’s drafted and formulated correctly, can be beneficial by promoting project visibility, providing helpful information, opening channels for communication, and streamlining payment.
The above are just some of the many reasons to provide voluntary preliminary notices, or as we like to call them at Levelset, “visibility documents” but, in fact, there are many more reasons, as well.
The generic notice form can be used in Washington DC along with any other state where preliminary notices aren’t required. It provides information about your company to the property owner, general contractor, and other parties in charge of payment on a construction project.
Fill out the form
Be careful! Accuracy is important.
After you download the form, the next step is to fill the form out completely and accurately. Property owners and GCs often rely on this document to communicate with you, so mistakes on this form can cause payment delays.
Deliver the form
Since preliminary notices aren’t required in Washington DC, there are no specific requirements for delivery. Deliver your notice however you see fit.
How to send a Preliminary Notice with Levelset
Select Preliminary Notice document.
Provide basic job information.
Levelset sends the document for you. Postage included!