Construction Frequently
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Preliminary Notice FAQ

A Maine preliminary notice is a letter sent by a contractor, laborer 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, serving a preliminary notice is not required in Maine.

However, you may still file a notice to protect your lien rights in case a bona fide purchaser buys the property before you recover your payment. [i]

There is no deadline for serving a preliminary notice in Maine because it is not a required form.

You will still have your lien rights even if you don’t send a preliminary notice in Maine.

Intent To File FAQ

A Maine 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.

No, sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is not a requirement for any construction participant in Maine. However, serving a Notice of Intent can help you protect your full lien rights.

In Maine, a notice of intent to lien may be sent 10 days before filing a mechanics lien, even if it is not required to do so. It advises the owner of your intention to record a lien if the payment is not satisfied.

You will not lose your lien rights if you do not serve a Notice of Intent to Lien, but your claim may be limited only to the amount that is yet to be paid to the general contractor.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

A Maine 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 Maine 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.

According to Maine Code 3251, “Whoever performs labor or furnishes labor or materials, including repair parts of machines used” may file a mechanics lien in Maine. [ii] These parties include, but are not limited to, general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers.

A Maine mechanics lien must be filed within 90 days after your last day of work. Your last day of work corresponds to the date when you last furnished services or materials to the project. [iii]

A Maine mechanics lien is enforceable within 120 days after filing [iv]. A claimant must, therefore, enforce a mechanics lien within this period or the mechanics lien expires.

A Maine mechanics lien must contain the following information [v]:

  • a true statement of the amount due the claimant, with all just credits given
  • a description of the property location that is sufficiently accurate for identification
  • the names of the owners, if known

Note that a Maine mechanics lien must be notarized before filing.

Maine does not have specific licensing requirements before a party can have lien rights.

A Maine mechanics lien must be canceled within 60 days after it has been satisfied [vi]. This is done by filing a notarized release of lien document in the same office where the original mechanics lien was filed.

The “pay-if-paid” is likely unenforceable. There is currently no Maine court that has considered the validity of the “pay-when-paid” clause.

References:

[i] Maine Code § 3255

[ii] Maine Code § 3251

[iii] Maine Code § 3252

[iv] Maine Code § 3255(1)

[v] Maine Code § 3253

[vi] Maine Code § 3255

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.

Maine 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.