Wisconsin Subcontractor Identification Notice Form
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All subcontractors must serve a Subcontractor Identification Notice upon the property owner within 60 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials to a construction project to preserve its lien rights.
Rules and regulations for sending a Wisconsin Preliminary Notice
To preserve lien rights, all subcontractors must serve a "Subcontractor Identification Notice" upon the property owner within 60 days of first furnishing labor or materials to a project. While there are some exceptions (consult with attorney for specific exceptions), it is a good practice to send the notice on every project. Notices sent after the 60 day period will preserve lien rights only for the labor/material furnished after notice is delivered.
After completing the Wisconsin Subcontractor Identification Notice Form, you must deliver it to the appropriate parties required by statute. Notices are typically served on the property owner and, for sub-tier parties, the general contractor. However, depending on the type of notice, it can be helpful to send notices to anyone else who is in charge of your payment, like a lender or surety company on the project.
Others are asking about Wisconsin Preliminary Notice
Is there anyway to lien a project in WI if the preliminary notice was not sent?
Notice of Commencement in WI
What an owner should expect on a Wisconsin construction projectThere are a number of different topics that an owner should be at least a little familiar with when heading into a project on their property. Of course, even if you are wholly unfamiliar with the topics below, it's possible to pull of a construction project without a hitch. But, since you asked, here are some topics that come to mind. Obviously, this isn't an exhaustive list - but understanding these topics will help to avoid common problems that arise on construction projects.
Use a written contract with a specified priceThis part is basic and simple, but it's crucial. Always use a written contract for construction work. That way, it's easy to set out the scope of work for the project, the price, how progress payments will work, and how to deal with issues like delays, defects, and other problems. More contract discussion, here: Construction Contract Documents | A Guide to Common Contract Parts.
Require written and signed change orders
One of the easiest issues to pop up on a construction job is to use informal or sloppy change order processes. Requiring that all change orders be in writing and signed will help make sure that you're aware of all changes on the project, and it will avoid disputes over whether extras were approved and what should be paid for those extras.
Further change order discussion here: Change Order Form — Free Template Download and Best Practices.
Understand how mechanics lien rights workFirst, know that mechanics lien rights will be available to just about everyone who works on the project - the GC, their subcontractors, suppliers, etc. But, those parties will only be able to file lien claims against your property if they aren't paid for their work. So, instituting a strict lien waiver collection policy can help you make sure everyone gets paid and no liens are filed on the project. Generally, it's a good idea to think of lien waivers as a receipt for payment - any time someone gets paid, they should provide that receipt (waiver). More waiver discussion here: (1) How To Handle Requesting & Tracking Lien Waivers; and (2) The Property Owner’s Guide to Lien Waivers. If a lien does get filed for some reason, this guide will help: A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?
Get ready to receive preliminary noticesAdditionally, it will be helpful to understand the notices you'll be receiving throughout the project. First, the GC will need to provide you with a specific lien notice directly in the contract or shortly after they begin work. Further, the subcontractors and suppliers on your job will also be sending preliminary notices letting you know they're working on the project and that, if worse comes to worst, they'll be able to file a mechanics lien. But, these notices are all simply informational and are intended to build a healthy, transparent, and collaborative project. Plus, if there is an issue later on, you'll have everyone's contact info to help nip that in the bud. You can learn all about those notices here: (1) Why Preliminary Notices Are Great For Property Owners & GCs; and (2) Wisconsin Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs.
If a Notice of Intent to Lien is received, resolve the disputeThere is a more troubling notice Wisconsin claimants may send, though. If the GC, subcontractor, supplier, etc. isn't getting paid what they're owed, they may send a Notice of Intent to Lien. Essentially, this document is a lien warning - it provides the owner and other recipients notice that there's a payment issue, and it gives those recipients a chance to solve the issue before a lien gets filed. A Notice of Intent to Lien must be sent at least 30 days before a lien can be filed - so, that provides about a month to negotiate and settle payment claims before having to deal with a lien. You can learn more on WI's Notice of Intent rules here: Wisconsin Notice of Intent FAQs & Guide. And, if you do receive one of these notices, this guide will help: I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?
In Wisconsin is a Preliminary Notice required on a commercial project?
- Here is a link provided by the Wisconsin courts: Basic Guide to Wisconsin Small Claims Actions
Ask a construction lawyer about a Wisconsin Preliminary Notice
Other forms to use in Wisconsin
Wisconsin County Recorders
Looking to file/record a mechanics lien in Wisconsin? You'll need to get your Wisconsin mechanics lien filed and recorded with the county recorder in the county where the construction project is located. Here is a listing of all county recorders in Wisconsin. Click on any county to find more information about how to get your lien recorded in that county.
100 South Jefferson St
Greenbay, Wisconsin, 54301
phone: 920-448-4155 ext 4
711 N Bridge Street, #220
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, 54729
2841 6th Street
Monroe, Wisconsin, 53566
222 N Iowa St # 205
Dodgeville, Wisconsin, 53533
phone: (608) 935-0395
320 South Main st Rm 115
Jefferson, Wisconsin, 53549
626 Main St
Darlington, Wisconsin, 53530
1010 S 8th St
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 54220
phone: (920) 683-4000
500 Forest St
Wausau, Wisconsin, 54403
phone: (715) 261-1000
320 S Walnut St
Appleton, Wisconsin, 54911
phone: (920) 832-5131
414 W Main
Ellsworth, Wisconsin, 54011
1005 W. Main Street Suite 300
Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, 54810
1516 Church Street
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 54481
5 S Main St
Janesville, Wisconsin, 53545
1101 Carmichael Road
Hudson, Wisconsin, 54016
36245 Main Street 2nd Floor
Whitehall, Wisconsin, 54773
phone: (715) 538-2311
400 Market Street, PO Box 8095
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, 54495