Construction Frequently
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Preliminary Notice FAQ

A Colorado preliminary notice is a letter sent by a contractor or supplier to the property owner at the start of a construction project. In many states, a preliminary notice is required to be sent to paying parties in order to secure the right to lien.

No, it is not required to send a Colorado preliminary notice before filing a mechanics lien. But it’s still prudent to do so as it is cost-effective and gives the owner the motivation to pay you. It makes you visible, which can result in the owner or general contractor prioritizing your invoices.

Since a preliminary notice is not required in Colorado, there are no strict requirements for sending one if you choose to do so. Just make sure to send it to the correct address by registered mail.

You may send a Colorado preliminary notice at the start of the project.

You can send a Colorado preliminary notice to the property owner and/or general contractor.

Intent To File FAQ

A Colorado 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.

Yes, you are required to send a Colorado notice of intent to lien.⁴

A Colorado notice of intent to lien is due at least 10 days before filing a mechanics lien.

Send your Colorado notice of intent to lien to the property owner, the reputed owner, or the owner’s agent.

Since a Colorado notice of intent to lien is required in filing a mechanics lien, your lien claim will be considered invalid if you don’t send this notice.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

A Colorado 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 guarantees payment for contractors.

This means that if you file a valid mechanics lien on a project you worked on in Colorado and weren’t 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.

With a Colorado 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.

Colorado allows most people who provide labor and/or materials directly to the property owner or to a contractor in a construction or improvement project to file a mechanics lien.¹

However, when the property is a public project, suppliers who contract with other suppliers, architects, engineers, draftsmen, and artisans are not covered by the right to file a lien. 

Meanwhile, a party that furnished specially fabricated materials may file a mechanics lien even if the contract was canceled before the materials were installed or if they were never used in the project.

Here are what you need to do when filing a Colorado mechanics lien.

Step 1: Ready the lien form and fill it out with all of the required information, which you can find below. A notary must acknowledge the signature of a party. Remember that notarizing the document is required in filing it. 

Step 2: File the original notarized copy of the form with the clerk’s office in the county where the property is situated. 

  • The notarized form may be sent to the clerk’s office via mail or FedEx, or you can deliver it in person for recording. In some counties, you may e-record the document. 
  • If you are e-recording the lien form, the fees for filing and processing will be assessed before recording. On the recording platform, just select “Lien” and upload your lien and other required attachments. 
  • If you choose to send the lien via mail or FedEx or walking in with it, include the proper fees in your filing.

Call the county recorder to know the amount you have to pay. If you don’t pay the right amount of fees, your lien can be rejected. 

The fees are usually determined by the amount set for the first page plus the sum of the smaller amounts set for the succeeding pages. This means that the more pages you include in your filing, the higher the fee will be. 

Step 3: Ask for a stamped copy of your recorded lien.

  • Include a self-addressed stamped envelope in your filing, along with the filing fee, in order to receive a copy of your recorded lien for you own records.

Step 4: It is not required in Colorado to serve a mechanics lien on the owner of the property. To ensure payment, however, it is best to go ahead and serve your mechanics lien on the property owner.

A Colorado mechanics lien must be filed within 4 months after labor and materials were last supplied. If only labor was provided, the filing period is shortened to 2 months.

The claimant is required to take action to enforce lien 6 months after last delivery of materials and labor or project completion.²

A Colorado mechanics lien is effective during the 6 months that a claimant is required to take action to enforce it after last providing labor and materials or project completion.

Colorado requires the following pieces of information to appear on the mechanics lien form: 

  • The name of the owner or reputed owner of the property; if the name of either is not known to the lien claimant, a statement saying so
  • The name of the lien claimant
  • The name of the person who provided the laborers or materials, or who performed the labor which the lien is being claimed for
  • The contractor’s name if the lien claimant is a subcontractor or the assignee thereof; if the name of either is not known, a statement saying so
  • A description of the property for identification
  • A statement of the amount owed to the claimant
  • An affidavit of serving the notice of intent on the owner of the property in person by via registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and addressed to the owner at their last known address at least 10 days before the lien is filed.

Yes, you can file a Colorado mechanics lien even if you’re unlicensed to do the work you did on the property subject to the lien.

You can use any lien waiver form since Colorado does not have statutory lien waiver forms. The form also does not have to be notarized to be effective.

Moreover, Colorado doesn’t have a specific statutory prohibition on lien waivers in advance of payment or furnishing of materials and labor.

A lien release in Colorado is due within 10 days after receipt of a written request from the property owner.³

A lien release is required when the outstanding payment has been settled by the property owner, or if the lien has expired because it was not enforced within the 6 months given to enforce it. 

A lien release is filed with the county clerk where the lien was recorded.

In Colorado, both the timing mechanism of  pay when paid clauses and the risk shifting of  pay if paid clauses are allowed.

However, pay if paid  clauses are enforceable only when the language is clear. To be so, they must state the following:

  • The owner’s paying of the primary contractor is “a condition precedent” to the primary contractor paying the subcontractors, and the prime contractor has the obligation to pay the subcontractors only if the prime contractor has been paid by the owner. 
  • The subcontractors understand and accept the “shifting of the risk,” wherein the prime contractor has no obligation to pay the subcontractors if the owner has not paid the prime contractor.

References:

https://codes.findlaw.com

¹ Colorado Mechanics Lien Statute Section 38-22-101

² Colorado Mechanics Lien Statute Section 38-22-110

³ Colorado Mechanics Lien Statute Section 38-22-118

Colorado Mechanics Lien Statute Section 38-22-109

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.