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Preliminary Notice FAQ

A preliminary notice, known in Ohio as Notice of Furnishing, is a letter sent by a construction project participant to the property owner at the start of the project. This is to let the receiver of the notice know of the sender’s participation in the project. In many states, a preliminary notice is required to preserve lien rights.

In Ohio, all participants who do not have a direct contract with the property owner must send a Notice of Furnishing. The only parties exempted from this requirement apart from general contractors are laborers. 

However, if the property owner does not record a Notice of Commencement or if it is deemed defective, a Notice of Furnishing is not required to be sent. Either way, it is still best practice to send a Notice of Furnishing because it makes a participant’s role in a project known.

If required and a Notice of Commencement is filed on time, you must send a Notice of Furnishing within 21 days¹ of the start of your work in a project.

If a Notice of Commencement is filed late, send your Notice of Furnishing within 21 days of the Notice of Commencement’s filing. If the property owner does not file a Notice of Commencement, you are not required to send a Notice of Furnishing. But it is best practice to send the notice either way.

The Ohio Notice of Furnishing is to be sent primarily to the property owner and the general contractor. The Notice of Commencement stipulates that the notice be also sent to the owner’s or part owner’s designee and the lessee’s designee, if applicable. In the absence of a designee, the notice must be sent to the owner, part owner and lessee.

You can also opt to send the Notice of Furnishing to the construction lender, although this is not a must.

Sending your Notice of Furnishing late will not necessarily be fatal to your lien rights. Your work during the 21 days prior to your late filing will still be covered, along with your work for the rest of your participation in the project.

Intent To File FAQ

A Notice of Intent to Lien is a letter sent to the property owner and/or general contractor before the sender files a mechanics lien against the property they worked on.

It is not a requirement in Ohio to send a Notice of Intent to Lien. However, you can still send one to the property owner because this notice often encourages payment before a mechanics lien is even filed.

Send a Notice of Intent to Lien at least 10 days before your planned date of filing a mechanics lien so that the property owner or general contractor can have enough time to pay you.

You may send your Ohio Notice of Intent to Lien to the property owner and the general contractor, if applicable.

Since a Notice of Intent to Lien is not a requirement in Ohio, not sending one will not affect your right and ability to file a mechanics lien.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

A mechanics lien is a legal resort for construction project participants looking to recover delayed payment. It is a powerful tool that acts as a monetary claim by contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and other parties seeking payment for the work they provided to a property.

A mechanics lien will discourage potential buyers of the property from purchasing it. The project owner will have to settle any pending payments to have the mechanics lien released. A claimant has the legal right to enforce the lien if the property owner still does not pay up by the deadline. This effectively puts the property on the market and the proceeds of sales will cover the payment for those who have a valid lien claim against the property.

An Ohio mechanics lien entitles you to an interest in the property you worked on. If you have a valid mechanics lien against it, the property becomes collateral for the money the property owner owes you.

General contractors, material suppliers, subcontractors, as well as construction managers, all have mechanics lien right in Ohio.

If you worked on a non-residential project, you must file your mechanics lien within 75 days of the day you last provided labor or materials.

If you worked on a residential condominium or a residential building with single or double family dwellings, file your Ohio mechanics lien within 60 days² of your last day of furnishing labor or materials. However, your lien will not be valid if the general contractor has already been paid before your filing of your mechanics lien. For this reason, you must file your claim as soon as possible and allowed.

Yes, you are required to send a notice to the property owner that you have filed a mechanics lien against their property. If there are more than one owner, all of them must receive this notice, including their spouse and co-owners.

You must notify them by serving a copy of the lien within 30 days³ of your filing. If serving the notice is not possible, post it in an area of the project where it can be easily seen within 40 days of your filing.

A mechanics lien in Ohio is effective for six years. You can enforce it within this period.

Ohio does not require mechanics lien claimants to be licensed. You must, however, have a license for the work you do if it requires one to avoid legal troubles.

No, you cannot include attorney’s fees in your mechanics lien claim.

Yes, it is a requirement in Ohio for mechanics liens to be notarized.

References:

¹Ohio’s Construction Lien Law, R.C. § 1311.05
²Ohio’s Construction Lien Law, R.C. § 1311.06
³Ohio’s Construction Lien Law, R.C. § 1311.07

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.