Construction Frequently
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Preliminary Notice FAQ

A Connecticut 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 in order to secure the right to lien.

No preliminary notice is required in Connecticut. However, if you are a general contractor, you are advised to file an affidavit with the county clerk.

If you are a general contractor, is best to file an affidavit with the county clerk within 15 days of beginning work in Connecticut.

Since no preliminary notice is required in Connecticut, not sending one will not affect your lien rights.

Intent To File FAQ

A Connecticut 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.

If you do not have a direct contractual relationship with the owner of a property, you are required to send a Connecticut notice of intent to lien to the property owner, as well as the general contractor if they filed an affidavit with the clerk.³

You must send your Connecticut notice of intent to lien within 90 days of last providing labor or materials.

Failure to send a Connecticut notice of intent to lien is fatal to your claim.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

A Connecticut 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 and suppliers.

This means that if you file a valid mechanics lien on a project you worked on in Nevada 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 valid Nevada 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.

In determining whether a party has lien rights, Connecticut uses a “physical enhancement test,”¹ which requires that a party must have provided labor or materials that physically improved a property, laid the groundwork for it, or be an important part of its enhancement. 

The labor or materials must have also been used in the construction, repair, or removal of a building, or in the enhancement or subdivision of land.

A Connecticut mechanics lien must be filed within 90 days of the date of last providing labor or materials.²

A Connecticut mechanics lien must be enforced within 1 year of filing. If no action to enforce is taken within this period, the lien expires.

The following pieces of information must appear on a Connecticut mechanics lien:

  • A description of the premises subjected to the mechanics lien
  • The amount of the claim
  • The name(s) of the person(s) the lien is being filed against
  • The date of first providing labor or materials
  • A statement proclaiming the amount being claimed is justly due

Connecticut generally has no specific licensure requirements for filing a mechanics lien. 

An exception is that in residential projects, contractors who do not comply with the Home Improvement Act or New Home Construction Contractors Act should be licensed for the work they did in order to have lien rights.

You may use any lien waiver form since Connecticut does not have a legislatively designed lien waiver form.

The rules are not clear on canceling a Connecticut mechanics lien, but doing so may be required after payment has been satisfied.

Pay if paid clauses are not favorably regarded in Connecticut, but they may be enforced provided they are clear and unambiguous. 

Pay when paid clauses are enforceable as a timing mechanism.

References:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/

Connecticut Mechanics Lien Law

¹ Connecticut Code Section 49-33

² Connecticut Code Section 49-34

³ Connecticut Code Section 49-35

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.