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

An Oregon 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.

For residential projects in Oregon, prime contractors are required to send an Information Notice to Owner.⁴

Subcontractors, laborers, and suppliers are required to serve a notice of right to lien on the owner for residential projects.

For residential projects, prime contractors must send an Information Notice to Owner at the time of the execution of the contract.

Subcontractors, laborers, and suppliers must serve a Notice of Right to Lien on the owner within 8 days of first supplying labor or materials for a residential project.⁵

The Information Notice to Owner and Notice of Right to Lien must be sent to and served, respectively, on the property owner.

If not sent within the required period, the Notice of Right to Lien relates back 8 days prior to the date it is sent. If this notice is not sent at all, claimants can only claim for the cost of their labor if the labor and materials are segregated.

Failure to send an Information Notice to Owner if required can invalidate a mechanics lien.

Intent To File FAQ

An Oregon 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, you are not required to send a notice of intent to lien in Oregon. In any case, you can send one to remind the property owner of any due payment.

In Oregon, you may send a notice of intent to lien at least 10 days before filing a mechanics lien.

Send your Oregon notice of intent to lien to the owner of the property.

Not sending a notice of intent to lien in Oregon will not have an effect on your lien rights.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

An Oregon 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.

This means that if you file a valid mechanics lien on a project you worked on 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.

With a successfully filed Oregon 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 statute, the following are covered by lien rights in Oregon¹:

  1. any person performing labor upon, transporting or furnishing any material to be used in, or renting equipment used in the construction of any improvement; 
  2. any person who engages in or rents equipment for the preparation of a lot or parcel of land, or improves or rents equipment for the improvement of a street or road adjoining a lot or parcel of land at the request of the owner of the lot or parcel; 
  3. trustees of an employee benefit plan; 
  4. an architect, landscape architect, land surveyor or registered engineer who, at the request of the owner or an agent of the owner, prepares plans, drawings or specifications that are intended for use in or to facilitate the construction of an improvement or who supervises the construction.

An Oregon mechanics lien should be filed within 75 days of last supplying labor or materials or construction completion, whichever is earlier.² It should be enforced within 120 days after filing. 

If a lien is filed before the last supplying of materials or labor or before the project is completed, the lien is premature and not valid.

An Oregon mechanics lien is effective during the 120 days up to 2 years within which it is required to be enforced.

Oregon requires the following pieces of information to appear on the mechanics lien form: 

  • The name and address of the claimant
  • A “true statement” of the demand, which means an accurate amount of the unpaid labor after credit deductions and offsets
  • A description of the property subject to the lien
  • The name of the owner of the property
  • A statement indicating the identity of the person the claimant has a contract with, i.e. the owner, prime contractor or a subcontractor

Yes, you need to have a license for the work you did in a project to be eligible to file an Oregon mechanics lien.³

Any lien waiver form may be used since Oregon does not have legislatively designed lien waiver forms.

Advance lien waivers are typically not regarded favorably in Oregon.

An Oregon mechanics lien should be cancelled within 10 days of receiving payment.

Pay if paid clauses are enforceable in Oregon if “clear and unambiguous language…expressing the intention that the happening of a contingency over which the [sub] has no control shall be a condition precedent to payment…[is] found in the contract.” (Mignot v. Parkhill, 391 P.2d 755 (Or. 1964)

Pay when paid clauses are enforceable and set a reasonable timing for payment.


Oregon Construction Lien Law

¹ Oregon Revised Statutes Section 87.010

² Oregon Revised Statutes Section 87.035

³ Oregon Revised Statutes Section 87.036 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.

Oregon documents

Intent to File

Show you’re serious about filing a mechanics lien without having to pay filing fees.

Mechanics Lien

Still chasing payments on a construction project? File a Mechanics Lien on the project to recoup unpaid labor and materials.

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.