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Construction Notices Basics: Preliminary Notice vs. Notice of Intent to Lien

People who spend time in the construction industry have likely heard the terms preliminary notice or notice of intent to lien. Often, both terms are referred to as a notice which can confuse those who don't have a firm grasp on each notice. What are a preliminary notice and a notice of intent to lien, and what are the differences between them?
Most states require construction notices for those who wish to protect their lien rights. Individual states have their requirements for notices. Keep reading to learn more about the two kinds of notices.

What Is a Preliminary Notice?

In simple terms, a preliminary notice is documentation that lets the recipient know who you are and what service, work, or materials you provide. The preliminary notice is typically sent to the property owner, general contractor, or any other party who may have a hand in your payment.
Providing a preliminary notice is the first step to maintaining your lien rights on a construction project. If someone doesn't send a required preliminary notice or misses the deadline to send it, it causes them to lose lien rights and eliminates the ability to file a mechanics lien if they don't get paid for their work.
Even if a preliminary notice isn't required, it can be helpful to send one. Preliminary notices keep people above you in the chain of command in the loop about the work you're doing, and that prioritizes your invoice. Preliminary notices create transparency on the construction project and help you build strong working relationships with other parties on the project.
A preliminary notice should be considered a precaution. They are typically filed when a project begins, sometimes before work has even started, and before there is a possibility of any payment problems.

What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien (NOI)?

A notice of intent to lien warns other parties that you intend to exercise your right to file a lien against the property if you don't receive payment for your contribution to the project. This notice is typically the second step in securing lien rights. It comes after the preliminary notice and before a lien claim is filed.
NOIs are relevant to people other than the debtor and carry more weight than other notices. Typically, this means that these notices have greater success and they get more attention than other notices. Many times, an NOI results in quick payment from delinquent clients.

Final Thoughts

Those in the construction business can benefit from using preliminary notices and notices of intent to lien. Most (40) states require preliminary notices to protect the rights to file a lien later. Only nine states require an NOI on private projects, and there aren't any NOI requirements for those wanting to file a bond claim on a state or federal construction project.
If you require assistance with the preliminary notice or NOI process, contact Nationwide Notice, Inc. Their professionals expertly work to secure lien rights for their clients. With our experienced staff, we will assist you in both submitting and tracking your state's required legal documents to protect your lien rights, and help with your receivables. We strive to work with your subcontractors and contractors, no matter what size the construction company, to ensure payment by utilizing existing lien laws as leverage to make sure you get payment, along with securing lien rights. You can find Nationwide Notice, Inc. online or give us a call to learn more.