In Georgia, it can be said that the general rule regarding Preliminary Notices is that they are not required. As such, under most circumstances, a party providing services or materials to a private construction project can file a Claim of Lien without ever delivering a notice to the property owner or general contractor.
As with every general rule, however, there are certain exceptions. In limited circumstances, Preliminary Notices may be required on private construction projects.
In Georgia, Preliminary Notices are required when:
(1) The claimant does not have contractual privity with the owner (i.e. is a general contractor) or the general contractor (i.e. is a subcontractor). Therefore, the claimant is a lower-level sub or supplier; and
(2) The Owner or Contractor has filed a Notice of Commencement within 15 days of first performing work on the project.
If these two conditions are met, a preliminary notice must be sent to the Contractor and the Owner via registered or certified mail. The notice must be sent within 30 days of the first delivering of services of materials by the claimant or from the filing of the Notice of Commencement (whichever is later).
If required, failure to send a preliminary notice is fatal to the claimants ability to file a mechanic’s lien.