1. Home
  2. >>
  3. Preliminary Liens Roundup
  4. >>
  5. Preliminary Lien Notice Research

Preliminary Lien Notice Research Is A Must

Sending a notice doesn't do you any good if it's sent to the wrong entities

When preparing your prelim, if you don't research the information as to who needs to be served the notice you could end up in trouble.

Image promoting preliminary liens researchPreliminary lien notice research can help protect your rights!

YOU are responsible for making sure that the right people get a copy

Very few, if any, states have a law that holds the general contractor or owner responsible for providing the correct information in regard to who needs to be notified that you're present.

Some states, such as California, provide in the code that the GC/DC has to provide the information if requested to but the law doesn't hold them responsible if they provide the wrong information.

Whether you get the info from them voluntarily or upon request, how can you be sure that the information is accurate?

The General Contractor Didn't Give Us The Correct Information For Our Preliminary Lien Notice

We were starting work on a dentist's office and I had the preliminary lien notice paperwork ready to go. My partner happened to run into someone on the project who introduced himself as the Owner; one of *five* owners!

No Excuses

The onus falls on the one serving the notice to make sure the correct entities get the notice.

If your GC/DC gives you the wrong info, typically you won't have any recourse against him.

We didn't have a list of five owners from the general contractor; they gave us a list with one owner name on it.

I started doing some research and found out that indeed there were five owners of the project, and none of them were the name the GC had given me.

The project actually ended up going south and because we had, inadvertently, found out that we had incorrect information we had been able to prelim every owner before the deadline.

We were one of the few subcontractors on the project who happened to have the correct parties prelim'd. The ones who didn't, didn't get paid.

There was no law requiring that the general give us the correct information for our preliminary lien notice.

Their claim was that they made a mistake when providing the information and who knows, maybe they did.

But we would still have lost our lien rights, and payment, even though it was the general's fault - because there was no law to protect us.

Research Property Records For Your Preliminary Liens

Research property records:

  • Who owns the property and is there more than one owner
  • Are there any lenders on the property
  • What is the correct address/description of the property

By referring to the preliminary lien notice forms here, you'll know exactly what items you need to research.

There are places online where you can research property records to make sure you send your preliminary notices to *all* of the parties involved.

Start with the government entity that holds the property records for the area you're planning to work in. That might be a stand-alone county records office, the building planning office, the court building, maybe even a library in some smaller areas.

You can also research property records and title reports online, and run title searches online.



Just keep in mind that the amount of days you are given to file your preliminary lien notice is not a lot of time so you need to get your hands on the correct property information as quickly as possible.

Preliminary Lien Notice Research And An Unwelcome Surprise...


Once when I was researching the property records on a project we were working on, I found out that the owner of the project had filed a "notice of non-responsibility form" with the local county office.

Surprise!!

Usually, that means that a tenant is having work done to the property that he is renting/leasing and the owner of the property does not want any financial responsibility.

By correctly processing a "notice of non-responsibility" form, the owner is able to protect their property from liens should the tenant (and/or the general contractor and/or subcontractor) not pay the construction bill(s). Yikes!!

While this doesn't really have anything to do with properly serving your preliminary notice (since the Owner has absolved their responsibility) it's still important information to have before you start work on a project - before you even sign a contract if possible - because you'll then be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to do the project.

Always research property records for every job you are going to work on, and considering working on. If you don't serve the preliminary notice to the correct parties, you could find yourself without mechanic's lien rights.

$14.95
Preliminary Lien Notices / Pre-Liens
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Includes Exclusive, In-Depth Help: Learn Exactly How to do the California Preliminary Notice!

Construction-Business-Forms.com

If you need any help or have any questions...

I know that many people (like myself) will process at least some of the preliminary liens themselves and it's got to be served to the right people, in the right manner, and done on time - or you could lose in the end.

If you're doing your own please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have. I have a few attorneys who will answer questions and I'll do my best to get an answer for you, as quickly as possible to keep you on track.

Bookmark me!

Bookmark my site because it's PACKED with info for you! Be sure to subscribe to my free newsletter to stay updated on happenings here at the site, updates to the downloadable construction forms, and ongoing news in the construction world.

Thank you for visiting and have a great day!
Diane
PS: Below the comments is a list of all the articles in the Preliminary Liens Roundup...

New! Comments

Please leave me your comments below. Facebook doesn't notify me of comments but I'm tickled when I come across them and I always respond when I see them.

Article Series: Preliminary Lien Law


Preliminary Notices and Conflicting Addresses

If the address on the Grant Deed is different than the address on the prelim information given to us by the General Contractor, who do we send it to?


Nevada Notice of Right to Lien & Request for Notice of Completion

The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How - not necessarily in that order :o)


The California Preliminary Notice Covers Up to 20 Days Back

Just because you missed the deadline doesn't mean that all is lost!


Preliminary Lien Notice Research

A preliminary lien notice won't do you any good if they don't go to the correct entities.


Who Do You Send It To?

Who is supposed to get your preliminary lien notice?


California preliminary notice, Supplier didn't do one...

Unfortunately, a prelim is required to file a lien, even if you're a supplier.


Preliminary Liens Deadlines Are Not To Be Missed

It's bad to miss the deadline, so bad that it'll cost you at least some of your lien rights.


Arizona Preliminary Liens

Arizona requires preliminary liens prior to mechanic's liens.


Who Do You Send Your Arizona Preliminary liens to?

Send your Arizona Preliminary Liens to these entities.


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Lien Notices
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Exclusive, In-Depth, "Exactly How To Do The California Preliminary Notice" Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Don't Get Stiffed Working In Arizona

Don't get stiffed - An Arizona preliminary notice can help protect against that


General Contractor Was Paid But He Won't Pay Sub

What should you do? Do you still have lien rights?


California mechanic's lien laws, preliminary notices, and change orders

Do you have to do a preliminary notice for change orders?


California Preliminary Notice & Architectural Fees

I am an architect who is having difficulty with the final payment of fees...


No Preliminary Lien and the Owner Won't Pay

You didn't do a preliminary notice and now the {friggin'} Owner won't pay up


When a Preliminary Lien Notice is Refused

Did someone refuse your preliminary lien notice?


Protect your lien rights

Preliminary liens allow you to file "real" liens


Preliminary Liens and Arizona Deadlines

Don't miss the deadline for the Arizona preliminary liens


Preliminary Liens When There's More Than One Location

The potential ramifications of using one preliminary notice for several locations when they're all under the same contract


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Lien Notice
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Includes an Exclusive, In-Depth, How-to Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Preliminary Notices and Dollar Amounts

Make sure the $ amount on the prelim is as accurate as possible


Preliminary Liens and Non-Responsibility

Why you should serve the owner with a prelim even if he posts a notice of non-responsibility


Preliminary Notices and Signatures

Can the signature on a preliminary notice be a copy/fax or must it be 'wet'/original?


Amending a Preliminary Lien Notice

Is it better to amend the notice, or issue a new one?


Preliminary Liens Protect Lien Rights

Brief information about preliminary liens protecting lien rights


Who Gets a Copy of the Preliminary Liens

Where to send the preliminary liens


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Notices
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Includes an Exclusive, In-Depth, How-to Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Preliminary Liens Required Information - Wisconsin Primes and Generals

Information that a prime/general/direct contractor's lien notice must contain


Preliminary Liens Required Information - Wisconsin Subcontractors

Information that a subcontractor's lien notice must contain


Serving the Wrong Party

When working in Arizona be sure to timely serve the preliminary notice *to the correct parties* or there could be trouble


Preliminary Liens

A primer on preliminary liens


Getting 'Stiffed' on the Job

Preliminary liens can help save you from being 'stiffed' on the job!


Property Records are your Friend

Research property records when doing your preliminary notices


Outsourcing your Preliminary Liens

Thoughts about using a company that handles your preliminary notices for you


Preliminary Liens - a detailed, step-by-step outline

A detailed step-by-step explanation of how to process preliminary notices


Preliminary Liens

Tracking the paperwork, the proof of service, and the USPS documents for prelims


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Lien Notices
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Includes an Exclusive, In-Depth, How-to Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Preliminary Liens and Notifying the Correct Parties

Make sure your prelims go to the correct entities


Mishandling of, or Not Processing, Preliminary Liens

Mishandling of, or not processing, preliminary liens is one of the top 10 mistakes contractors make




At one time the California preliminary notice form was mandated by California to be titled "20-Day Preliminary Notice Form" (exactly, word for word). The California mandate has since changed and the form is now known as the "Preliminary Notice Form" (again, exactly, word for word). Make sure what your state requires and make sure your forms are valid.