Construction Frequently
Asked Questions.

Please check the following FAQ's below to find the answers to common questions

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Preliminary Notice FAQ

A New Mexico 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.

General contractors are not required to send a New Mexico preliminary notice.

Parties that are required to do so must satisfy all the following conditions:

  • They do not have a direct contractual relationship with the property owner or general contractor
  • The amount of the claim is more than $5,000
  • The project is not a residential property with fewer than 4 dwellings

A New Mexico preliminary notice must be sent to the property owner or the general contractor within 60 days of first providing labor, services or materials.⁴

Not sending a New Mexico preliminary notice could render the lien ineffective. However, a preliminary notice sent late can still apply to the 30 days preceding the date on which it was sent.

Intent To File FAQ

A New Mexico 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.

Sending a notice of intent to lien is not required in New Mexico. But parties may opt to send one to remind the property owner of outstanding payments.

You may send your notice of intent to lien at least 10 days before your intended date of filing your mechanics lien to give the property owner enough time to settle your payment.

Since it is not required in New Mexico, not sending a notice of intent to lien has no effect on your claim.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

A New Mexico 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 Mexico 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 Mexico 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.

According to state law, “every person performing labor upon, providing or hauling equipment, tools or machinery for or furnishing materials to be used in the construction, alteration or repair of” is covered by lien rights in New Mexico.¹

Design professionals such as engineers and architects have lien rights too. Suppliers to suppliers, however, may not file a mechanics lien in the state.

In New Mexico, general contractors must file their mechanics lien within 120 days of project completion.² Parties that do not have a direct contractual relationship with the property owner must file their mechanics lien within 90 days of project completion.

A Mexico mechanics lien must be enforced within 2 years of filing.³ If no action is taken to enforce it, the lien expires.

The following pieces of information must appear on a New Mexico mechanics lien form: 

  • The amount due after deduction of all just credits and offsets
  • The owner or reputed owner’s name
  • The name of the person who employed the claimant or to whom the labor, services or materials were provided
  • A statement of the terms, the time given and the contract’s conditions
  • A description of the property subject to the lien
  • The claimant’s verification by oath

Yes, you need to be licensed to do the work you did in a project to be eligible to file a mechanics lien in New Mexico.

You can use any lien waiver form in New Mexico since the state has no legislatively designed lien waiver forms.

New Mexico has no specific requirements when it comes to canceling a mechanics lien.


¹ NMSA Section 48-2-2

² NMSA Section 48-2-6

³ NMSA Section 48-2-10

NMSA Section 48-2-2-1 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 Mexico 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.