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What Is a Notice to Owner and Why It Matters

A Notice to Owner (NTO) is a document that falls under the category of preliminary notices in the construction industry. Plenty of people have heard of the term, but aren't quite familiar with exactly what it does or why it exists. Simply put, the NTO is a court filing that protects subcontractors and suppliers and their right to payment.
Let's take a closer look.

Notice to Owner Basics

A Notice to Owner (NTO), also sometimes called a Notice to the Owner, is a document that can be filed with the courts. When a subcontractor or supplier isn't dealing directly with the owner, this is a way to notify that owner that they will be held responsible to ensure they are paid before payments are made to general contractors.

Florida allows 45 days from the date materials are first delivered or work begins for senders to serve their notice. To serve the filing, owners can be notified via registered or certified mail, or through a job site posting if they can't be reached otherwise.

An NTO typically includes a timeline, stating that the payment must be made within 30 to 60 days of the project's completion. The time allotment varies by state. If the payment isn't received in time, the sender can then file a lien on the property to get the money they deserve.

The most important part is that if an NTO is not filed, subcontractors and suppliers may lose their right to file a construction lien later on down the line. It's always a good idea to check with your local authorities on the laws in your area and for your project.

Serving a Notice to Owner

Once a subcontractor decides they want to file an NTO, they will need to prepare the documentation. This requires a lot of information about the job and those involved, but the subcontractor's information isn't always necessary. If the party being served does not know the supplier or subcontractor, this doesn't have to be included.

A Notice to Owner should include the name and address of the owner and the property or project. It also needs to have a general description of the materials provided or services performed and a description of the property. Finally, it should list the contact information for the general contractor or hiring party.

The good news is that you're not on your own in this. Many states, including Florida, have NTO forms that meet all state requirements so that you can just fill in the details and send off the notice. Or you can enlist the assistance of a professional construction notices provider like the team at Nationwide Notice.
Nationwide Notice can assist with all areas of construction notices and collections, provide a centralized database to manage it all, and ensure that your team is always getting paid in full and on time. To learn more, contact us today!