How to Serve a Notice of Intent to Lien in Connecticut: Requirements, Deadlines and Best Practices | Handle

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How to Serve a Notice of Intent to Lien in Connecticut: Requirements, Deadlines and Best Practices

How to Serve a Notice of Intent to Lien in Connecticut: Requirements, Deadlines and Best Practices

November 30, 2020

A Notice of Intent to Lien is a document that warns a property owner of a lien claimant’s intention to record a mechanics lien. In most states, serving a Notice of Intent to Lien is not required. However, it is one of the important pre-lien notices in Connecticut to ensure that certain parties preserve their lien rights.

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SEND A Connecticut NOTICE OF INTENT TO LIEN IN MINUTES

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In Connecticut, serving the property owner with a Notice of Intent is not only done to fulfill a state requirement and protect one’s lien rights. It is also done to give a property owner the chance to settle outstanding debts before a mechanics lien is recorded. In most cases, serving a Notice of Intent is enough to get the property owner to pay up.

This guide discusses the process for preparing and serving a Connecticut Notice of Intent to Lien.

Who must serve a Notice of Intent in Connecticut?

Parties who have no direct contract with the property owner are required to serve the owner a Notice of Intent to Lien. These parties include subcontractors and material suppliers. General or prime contractors are not obligated to serve a Notice of Intent to Lien prior to recording a mechanics lien.

Send a notice of intent to lien now

Generally, a Connecticut Notice of Intent is served only on the property owner. If a general contractor files an affidavit with the county clerk within 15 days of starting work on a project, lower-tier parties will also be required to serve the GCs with a copy of the Notice of Intent.

When do you serve a Connecticut Notice of Intent?

The deadline for serving a Notice of Intent to Lien in Connecticut is on the 90th day after ceasing work on a project. The Notice of Intent must be served on the owner within this 90-day period and before recording a Connecticut mechanics lien.

When do you serve a Connecticut Notice of Intent

What happens if you fail to serve a Connecticut Notice of Intent?

If you are required to serve a Notice of Intent to Lien and you fail to do so, you will not be allowed to record a valid mechanics lien in Connecticut. Note that subcontractors and materialmen must take note of this requirement to ensure that their lien rights are protected.

How to serve a Connecticut Notice of Intent?

How to serve a Connecticut Notice of Intent

1. Prepare the Connecticut Notice of Intent form

Connecticut laws do not provide a specific template for the Notice of Intent to Lien form, although the code states that the notice must clearly mention that you have furnished services to a project and that you intend to record a mechanics lien.

The Notice of Intent to Lien may also include the following information to provide more details in your claim:

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the property owner
  • A description of the property location sufficient for identification
  • A description of the labor and materials you provided to the project
  • The unpaid amount to be claimed in a mechanics lien

Note that if there are multiple property owners, you must prepare multiple copies of your Connecticut Notice of Intent to Lien and serve a copy on each property owner.

2. Serve the Notice of Intent

After preparing your Notice of Intent to Lien, you may now serve it on the property owner. Note that you should also serve it on the general contractor if the GC has filed an affidavit within their first 15 days of work.

The valid method for serving the Notice of Intent to Lien depends on various factors, including where the property owner resides.

  • If the property owner resides in the county where the property is located, the notice may be served in person via an “indifferent” party such as a state marshal.
  • If the property owner does not reside in the county where the property is located but they have a local agent, the notice may be served on the local agent instead.
  • If the property owner does not reside in the county where the property is located and they have no local agent either, the notice may be served on the property owner via registered or certified mail.

Note that if personal service is not possible and if the mail has been unclaimed and returned to the sender, you may serve the Notice of Intent by publication. In this case, the notice must be published in a weekly newspaper with substantial readership or circulation in the town where the intended recipients (e.g. property owners) reside.

Also note that the deadline for serving a Notice of Intent to Lien is within 90 days after last furnishing services to a project. This deadline is strictly enforced, so be sure that you give yourself enough time to serve the notice of intent to lien properly.

Best practices for serving a Connecticut Notice of Intent

1. Serve a Connecticut Notice of Intent to Lien early

Serving a Notice of Intent in Connecticut must be done within 90 days of ceasing work on a project. In other states, serving this notice is as easy as mailing the notice of intent form, but Connecticut requires different service methods depending on where the property owners reside. If a notice of intent is returned unclaimed, you will be required to have the notice published in a weekly newspaper.

It is, therefore, best practice to serve the Notice of Intent to Lien early so you have enough time to make sure that your notice indeed gets served on the property owner in a timely manner.

2. Serve a Connecticut Notice of Intent on every property owner

Connecticut requires you to serve the notice of intent on every property owner. This rule applies even when the listed property owners reside in the same address. For example, if a property is owned by a married couple, you must serve two separate notices even if the couple resides in the same place. Keep this in mind to avoid potentially breaking the rules and invalidating your mechanics lien claim.

Connecticut Notice of Intent reminder

3. File a Connecticut mechanics lien if payment disputes ensue

A Notice of Intent to Lien is only a pre-lien notice that expresses your intention to record a mechanics lien. Even though it can potentially prompt a property owner to release your payment, it is still not the same as a mechanics lien. If payment disputes ensue and you want to have stronger leverage during payment negotiations, be prepared to record a Connecticut mechanics lien.

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