A Preliminary Notice (Pre-Lien) is a document, that is used as a communication tool to inform all parties involved – the property owner, contractor and/or supplier – of their construction lien rights. This notice also gives an estimated dollar amount of the project. More often then not, the preliminary notice is a required first step to maintaining lien rights.
Although some projects may not require this notice, serving a pre-lien on every project removes the gray area, improves communication, and improves payment practices for all parties. Generally speaking, a preliminary notice will not hurt your lien rights, it will only strengthen them.
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After You Submit A Service Order, Perfekt Will Take It From There
We'll Track The Project
Perfekt tracks the project through the entire construction lien process.
Perfekt researches the property’s legal description and owners.
We'll Make It Perfect
Perfekt compiles and perfects the notice and lien forms.
Perfekt collects signatures and notarizes the construction lien (if needed).
Serve The Documents
Perfekt serves the proper documents to the homeowner.
File With The County
Perfekt files the construction lien with the county (if needed).
Perfekt distributes copies of the notice and lien forms to all parties involved.
Perfekt archives the construction lien and postal proof.
Perfekt monitors the project’s statutory deadlines.
Perfekt alerts you when it’s time to escalate services to maintain lien rights.
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A prelien (also known as a Preliminary Lien notice) is the first step in maintaining lien rights in many states. A prelien is a document sent via certified mail to the property owner (Perfekt’s service also provides copies to the hiring party and our client). The intention of the prelien is to inform the property owner of their rights, such as to pay a subcontractor or material supplier directly for the work they have done on a property. The document informs the project owner that a construction professional has been on the property and has contributed to the improvement of the property – such as roofing, framing, plumbing, concrete, excavation, electrical, appliances, etc. Serving a prelien notice is a great tool for opening lines of communication between all parties, as well informing the property owner of their rights, while maintaining the contractors rights. In many states, a prelien is required for residential projects, with exceptions for commercial projects. We recommend serving prelien notices on all projects regardless.
In most states a prelien is required for residential projects. Without properly serving a prelien notice, lien rights will be forefit – ie., a lien wont be valid if filed without a prerequisite prelien. There are exceptions for serving prelien notices on commercial projects, but we recommend serving prelien notices on all projects regardless.
Preliens are also known as preliminary notices, preliminary notice to lien and prelims.
The prelien notice is an integral part of credit management. Sending a prelien notice not only maintains lien rights, but also improves communication between parties. Often our clients find they are paid after serving a prelien and often don’t need to escalate to further steps. A prelien notice is often required to perfect lien rights, which is the right to file a lien against a property and ultimately foreclose in the event of non-payment.
A prelien can be sent after the first date of work, and has a certain amount of days (statutory timelines) from the first date of work before rights expire. The statutory timelines for preliens differ from state to state. See FAQs or the resource section for each state in order to see the specific requirements for each state. A prelien is required on residential projects, with exceptions for commercial projects. But to manage the many gray areas around preliminary notices, we suggest to serve preliminary notices on the first date of work, for both commercial and residential projects.
A prelien is sent via certified mail to the property owner. Perfekt also sends a copy to our client and the party that hired our client.
Prelien notices can be served by several methods, dependent on state statutes. Serving by personal delivery is one option, but certified mail to the property owner or agent is the norm.
First date of work on the job, last date of work (can be an estimate), property address, dollar amount for job (can be an estimate within reason), labor and or materials supplied to job, and the party that hired you for the project.
As a best management practice, every subcontractor and material supplier should have a lien management policy. This should include a dollar threshold for serving prelien notices and filing liens. But to manage the many gray areas around preliminary notices, we suggest to serve preliminary notices on the first date of work, for both commercial and residential projects. Use a third party service such as Perfekt to help manage your lien rights (contact Perfekt if you’d like to discuss a lien management policy tailored for your company).