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Preliminary Notice FAQ

An Indiana Preliminary Notice to Owner of Mechanic’s Lien Rights 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 protect the right to file a mechanics lien.

Whether you are required to send an Indiana Preliminary Notice to Owner of Mechanic’s Lien Rights depends on the type of the project and your role in it. General contractors are not required to send this notice regardless of their project.

Subcontractors and suppliers, meanwhile, are required to send this notice when they are working on an owner-occupied residential project. It is not mandatory to do so when working on other types of projects, such as commercial, utility and industrial projects.

The Notice to Owner of Personal Liability, which works like a Stop Notice, is another tool for securing lien rights in Indiana. However, it is not a requirement to send it.

If required, you may send your Indiana Preliminary Notice to Owner of Mechanic’s Lien Rights via certified mail with return receipt requested.

When required to send an Indiana Preliminary Notice to Owner of Mechanic’s Lien Rights, do so within 60 days of the first day you provided labor or materials for the construction of a new residential project. If the work involves renovation only, send your notice within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials.¹

Typically, an Indiana Preliminary Notice to Owner of Mechanic’s Lien Rights must be sent to the property owner. However, there are instances when this notice must be filed in the recorder’s office too.

The Notice to Owner of Personal Liability is sent only to the property owner.

If you do not have direct contact with the owner of an owner-occupied residential project and you fail to send an Indiana Preliminary Notice to Owner of Mechanic’s Lien, you will lose your mechanics lien rights. This means that even if you send a mechanics lien before the deadline, it will be deemed invalid. So it is best that you fulfill this important preliminary notice requirement.

Intent To File FAQ

An Arizona notice of intent to lien is a letter sent to the property owner before filing a mechanics lien becomes necessary. As the name says, it lets the receiver know of the sender’s intention to file a mechanics lien due to a payment dispute. 

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 encourage property owners to pay them.

Sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is not a requirement to protect mechanics lien rights in Indiana. However, it is still advisable to send one because it often encourages property owners to settle payment disputes before a mechanics lien becomes necessary.

There is no deadline to send an Indiana Notice of Intent to Lien since it is not a requirement. But in order to give the property owner enough time to produce payment, send it at least 10 days before the day you plan to file a mechanics lien.

Send your Indiana Notice of Intent to Lien to the property owner and the general contractor via mail.

Not sending a Notice of Intent to Lien in Indiana will have no bearing on your lien rights since it is not a requirement.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

A mechanics lien is a legal claim that guarantees payment for contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers and laborers. Construction participants can file this claim against the property they worked on if they were not paid according to what is stated in their contract.

A valid mechanics lien attached to a property will discourage potential buyers from purchasing it because of the debt associated with it. This will then compel the property owner to settle the payment dispute. If the property owner still refuses to pay, the claimant has 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 the unpaid bill.

In Indiana, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers to contractors and subcontractors, laborers and equipment lessors all have lien rights. Material suppliers to material suppliers cannot file a mechanics lien in the state.

The deadline for filing a mechanics lien in Indiana depends on the project type.² These types are the following:

  • Residential (single or double unit dwellings)
  • Utility (owned or operated by the state)
  • Commercial, industrial and others

If the project is residential, the mechanics lien must be filed within 60 days of the last day materials or services were provided.

For all other projects, claimants have 90 days since their last day of work to file a mechanics lien.

Yes, it is a requirement in Indiana to send a notice to the property that you filed a mechanics lien against their property. It must be sent via first-class mail within 3 days of recording the mechanics lien.

An Indiana mechanics lien is effective for 1 year³ after it is received in the recorder’s office. During this period, a claimant should enforce the mechanics lien.

However, a property owner or any party with an interest in the property can reduce this enforcement period by sending a Notice to Foreclose. This effectively shortens the period to initiate an enforcement action to 30 days.

This notice must be sent to the lien claimant via register or certified mail and say that if no enforcement action is taken within 30 days of its receipt, the mechanics lien becomes invalid and will then be released.⁴

No, you don’t need to have a license for the work you did on a project to be able to file a mechanics lien.

There are not statutory lien waiver forms in Indiana. Therefore, you can use any form that serves this purpose.

References:

¹Indiana Code Title 32. Property § 32-28-3-1

²Indiana Code Title 32. Property § 32-28-3-3

³Indiana Code Title 32. Property § 32-28-3-6

Indiana Code Title 32. Property § 32-28-3-10

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.

Indiana documents

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.