Construction Frequently
Asked Questions.

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Preliminary Notice FAQ

A New Hampshire notice of intent to claim lien a 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.

With the exception of prime contractors, all parties involved in a construction project in New Hampshire are required to serve a notice of intent to claim a lien on the property owner before starting work. 

The said parties should also send a written account of labor or materials provided every 30 days.³

A New Hampshire mechanics lien may be rendered ineffective if a notice of intent to lien is not sent.

Intent To File FAQ

A New Hampshire 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.

The New Hampshire preliminary notices serve as your notice of intent to lien.

Not sending a New Hampshire notice of intent to lien (preliminary notice) may render your mechanics lien ineffective.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

A New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire 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.

If you successfully file a New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire, general contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and material and equipment suppliers are covered by lien rights. Professional designers, engineers, and surveyors may also file a mechanics lien.¹ 

Subcontractors hired by sub-subcontractors are likely not covered by lien rights, and suppliers to suppliers are categorically not allowed to file a mechanics lien. 

Equipment lessors appear to be covered by lien rights in New Hampshire if they are within two tiers of the general contractor.

You must file your New Hampshire mechanics lien within 120 days of last providing labor, services or materials.²

In New Hampshire, the action to enforce a mechanics lien must be taken before recording it. Which means the lien is effective during this enforcement period up to the time it is recorded.

No, you don’t need to be licensed to do the work you did in a project in New Hampshire to file a mechanics lien.

New Hampshire has no legislatively designed lien waiver forms, so you can use any such form.

It is unclear if pay if paid and pay when paid clauses are enforceable in New Hampshire.


¹ New Hampshire Revised Statute Section 447:2

² New Hampshire Revised Statute Section 447:9

³ New Hampshire Revised Statute Section 447:8 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.

New Hampshire documents

Preliminary Notice

Secure rights to file a lien and notify parties you’re on the job. Not filing a preliminary notice may result in lost revenue in case of a delinquent client.