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Preliminary Notice FAQ

There are multiple types of Arkansas preliminary notices.

A Notice to Owner by Contractor is a document served on the property owner by a general contractor prior to commencing work on a project. This notice is similar to a regular preliminary notice as used in other states, but it primarily applies to residential projects. [i]

A Post-Construction Notice to Owner and Contractor is a notice that is served on both the owner and the general contractor after work has been done on a project. It is primarily used on commercial projects [ii]. Unlike a regular preliminary notice, it is served later on in a project; however, it is not the same as a Notice of Intent to Lien.

A Notice to Owner by Contractor is required to be served by all general contractors working on a residential project. All lower-tier contractors (e.g. subcontractors and material suppliers) may also serve this preliminary notice, even if not required.

A Post-Construction Notice to Owner and Contractor is required to be served by all parties who have no direct contract with the property owner of a commercial project.

A Notice to Owner by Contractor must be served prior to commencing work on a project.

Send a Post-Construction Notice to Owner and Contractor after your last day of work but not later than 75 days after you last furnished labor or materials to the project.

Intent To File FAQ

An Arkansas notice of intent to lien is sent before the filing of a mechanics lien becomes necessary. Although only a number of states require that this notice be sent, many construction participants send a notice of intent to lien as an uncostly way to have payments for invoices settled. [iii]

Yes, all construction parties in Arkansas must serve a Notice of Intent to Lien, regardless of project type.

In Arkansas, a notice of intent to lien must be sent 10 days before filing a mechanics lien. It advises the owner of your intention to record a lien if the payment is not satisfied.

You may not file a valid mechanics lien if you do not send an Arkansas Notice of Intent to Lien on time.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

An Arkansas mechanics lien is an effective tool that helps make sure you will be paid for the construction materials and/or labor you supplied. It is a legal claim that can effectively recover payment for contractors and suppliers.

This means that if you file a valid mechanics lien in Arkansas and you do not get paid for your work, you have the right to enforce the lien through a lawsuit. This enforcement action can either prompt the client to settle or force the sale of the property. The proceeds of the sale will be used to settle your unpaid bill.

If you successfully file an Arkansas mechanics lien, you have an interest in the improved property. When a mechanics lien is filed on the property you worked on, the property becomes collateral for uncollected payments.

According to Arkansas Code 18-44-101, all contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers may file an Arkansas mechanics lien [iv]. Engineers, architects, surveyors, and landscapers also have lien rights in Arkansas [v]

A mechanics lien in Arkansas must be filed within 120 days of your last day of work, which is the day when you last furnished labor or materials to the project. [vi]

An Arkansas mechanics lien is enforceable within 15 months after the date it was filed [vii]. A claimant must therefore enforce a mechanics lien within this period or the mechanics lien expires.

The Arkansas mechanics lien must contain the following documents and attachments [viii]:

  • A just and true account of the demand due or owing to the claimant after allowing all credits

The lien account shall contain a correct description of the property to be charged with the lien, verified by affidavit.

  • An affidavit of notice attached to the lien account.

The affidavit of notice shall contain:

a. A sworn statement evidencing compliance with the applicable preliminary notice provisions in Arkansas Code §§ 18-44-114 – 18-44-116

b.  A copy of each applicable notice given under Arkansas Code §§ 18-44-114 — 18-44-116.

Arkansas does not have specific license requirements for its potential lien claimants.

According to Arkansas Code § 18-44-131, a claimant must release an Arkansas mechanics lien within 10 days upon payment and lien satisfaction. Canceling or releasing an Arkansas mechanics lien is done by filing a release of lien in the office of the clerk of the circuit court. [ix]

The “pay-if-paid” clause is enforceable as long as it is written in clear and unambiguous language. The “pay-when-paid” clause is also enforceable in Arkansas.

References:

[i] Arkansas Code § 18-44-115(a)

[ii] Arkansas Code § 18-44-115(b)

[iii] Arkansas Code § 18-44-114

[iv] Arkansas Code § 18-44-101

[v] Arkansas Code § 18-44-105

[vi] Arkansas Code § 18-44-117

[vii] Arkansas Code § 18-44-119

[viii] Arkansas Code § 18-44-117(a)

[ix] Arkansas Code § 18-44-131

Handle.com provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to contractors and others who are seeking information regarding preliminary notices, intent to file, mechanics lien, and other construction questions. These are provided for informational purposes only, and we cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.

Arkansas documents

Intent to File

Show you’re serious about filing a mechanics lien without having to pay filing fees.

Miller Act

The Miller Act protects the rights of subcontractors working on or who have worked on government projects.

Waiver

Waivers release your right to file a mechanics lien in case of non-payment. Some have conditions so ensure you're sending the correct lien waiver type.