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

Construction notices are an essential part of the construction industry. These legal actions are taken to ensure that contractors receive the complete payments they're owed for projects they complete on properties. Understanding the differences between a preliminary notice and a notice of intent to lien is important so you can take the proper action in your circumstances.

What Are Construction Notices?

First, let's explore what construction notices do. These notices are legal communication channels between a property owner and a contractor. These notices act as formal communications that develop a legal paper trail and record of the working relationship. Depending on the project stage, you will either file a preliminary notice or a notice of intent to lien.

What Is a Preliminary Notice?

A preliminary notice is a formal opportunity for the contractor to introduce themselves to the property owner and explain the intended project. This step encourages transparency between the contractor and the property owner and establishes a legally recognized relationship. Since this notice is seen as an introduction, you may file it before you begin a project or before the payment is due.

Most states require all contractors to file a preliminary notice, but their specific guidelines differ from one state to the next. Other factors that affect the type of preliminary notice you file include the project's type and size and your role in the work. This required notice clarifies what the property owner will be required to pay and will act as the first line of defense to ensure you get the money you're owed as a contractor.

What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien?

A notice of intent to lien is a legal filing that expresses the contractor's intention to file a mechanic's lien. This notice is filed when there's an outstanding balance on a completed project. Sometimes, this first filing is enough to get the payment taken care of because the property owner may have simply forgotten to pay the bill, or there may have been some miscommunication about payment.

Some states require you to file a notice of intent to lien before you file the mechanic's lien. Even if your state doesn't, this is typically a good first step when a payment issue has appeared. If the payment deadline has passed, it's time to file a notice of intent to express your intent to take legal action to ensure payment.

Nationwide Notice Can Help

Preliminary Notices are often filed before or shortly after a project begins to lay out the project's intentions and what the property owner will be expected to pay for the work. A notice of Intent to lien is filed when there's an issue with receiving payments from the property owner.

Whichever type of construction notice you need to file, Nationwide Notice can help. Our team is skilled in properly filing these notices to ensure you get the payment you deserve while following your state's guidelines for the notices. We're here to help!

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