California’s preliminary notice requirement seems straight-forward enough: send preliminary notice to the property owner, the prime contractor and the lender within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to a project. As with everything in life, however, the devil is in the details.
This is the subject of a Legal Guide I published this morning at Avvo.com, titled: 3 Important Details About California’s Preliminary Notice Requirement.
The article addresses three primary details about the state’s preliminary notice rules:
1) What happens when a preliminary notice is sent too early or too late. Essentially, what happens when a preliminary notice is fired off before starting to furnish the materials, or on the flip side, after the work had already been in progress for 20 days. Does California follow the Ohio rule that early notices are invalid (no, they don’t). Can a preliminary notice sent too late still have some effect (yes, they can)?
2) Why it’s important to keep good proof that your preliminary notice was sent…and delivered.
3) Whether additional preliminary notices are required each and every time there is a contract amendment or change order. We wrote in more detail about this particular question on our blog’s FAQs section, here: Is A Second California Preliminary Notice Required If A Change Order Increases Contract Price? (no).