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How to Record a Washington Notice of Furnishing Professional Services

How to Record a Washington Notice of Furnishing Professional Services

February 17, 2020

Most states require their construction participants to submit different types of preliminary notices depending on their role in a project. In Washington, parties whose services are “not visible from an inspection” must record a specific type of notice called Notice of Furnishing Professional Services.

Unlike other kinds of preliminary notice, the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services is not delivered to the property owner. It is instead recorded in a local county clerk’s office, much like a mechanics lien.
This guide will explain everything you need to know about the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services. Read on to know how to prepare the Washington Notice of Furnishing form and to learn the best practices that will help you record your notice properly.

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Who must file a Notice of Furnishing Professional Services?

Construction parties whose professional services “are not visible from an inspection of the real property” are required to file a Notice of Furnishing Professional Services in Washington. These parties include architects, designers, or consultants.

Oftentimes, property owners are not aware of all potential claimants who have furnished professional services for their properties. By requiring a notice from those whose services are not visibly apparent during construction or improvement, property owners are made aware of possible claimants who may file a mechanics lien against their property.

When to file a Notice of Furnishing Professional Services in Washington

Washington mechanics lien laws do not impose a specific deadline for filing the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services. However, the laws say that this notice requirement applies to “every potential lien claimant providing professionals services where no improvement…has been commenced.”

This implies that you must record the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services as soon as you begin working on a project. Recording the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services on your first day or within your first week of work is recommended.

What will happen if you fail to file a Washington Notice of Furnishing Professional Services?

Failing to file a Notice of Furnishing Professional Services is fatal to your lien rights. If you do not record a valid Notice of Furnishing Professional Services, you may not record a mechanics lien to recover your unpaid compensation.

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How to file a Notice of Furnishing Professional Services

How to file a Washington Notice of Furnishing Professional Services

1. Prepare the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services form

The first step in filing the Washington Notice of Furnishing Professional Services is to prepare the document itself. The following information must be included in your Notice of Furnishing Professional Services form:

  • The date you began providing professional services

This date includes the day, month, and year of your first day of work

  • Your name, address, and telephone number

This is your own information

  • The legal description of the property location

This must be the correct legal description of the property; street address or a general location description will not suffice

  • The general nature of the professional services provided

This is a brief description of the type of service that you provide to the project

  • The name of the property owner or reputed owner

This is the complete name of the property owner or reputed owner

Washington lien laws prescribe your Notice of Furnishing Professional Services to substantially be in the following form:

2. Record the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services in the local county clerk agency

Once you have prepared your Washington Notice of Furnishing Professional Services form, you must file it in the clerk’s office in the county where the property is located. There is no specific deadline for filing but you are highly advised to record this notice as soon as you commence work.

Note that unlike other preliminary notices, the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services is recorded in the county’s agency and not directly submitted to the property owner. Keep this in mind as failing to record the notice will invalidate your lien rights, even if you have notified the property owner by mailing to them the notice directly.

Also, note that filing a Notice of Furnishing Professional Services may come with associated recording fees. You may call your local county agency to inquire about the required fees before recording your notice to make sure that you are ready to pay the correct amount.

Best practices when filing a Notice of Furnishing Professional Services

1. File the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services as soon as you start working on a project

Washington lien laws do not have a prescribed deadline for when to file the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services; however, you are encouraged to record this notice as early as your first day of work. It is always a good business practice to complete a preliminary notice requirement as soon as possible to ensure that your lien rights are fully protected.

2. Verify the accuracy of the information included in your Notice of Furnishing Professional Services

Preparing the Notice of Furnishing Professional Services form must be done with utmost attention to detail. Minor errors such as spelling mistakes could invalidate your lien. Failure to include the legal property description is another mistake that could be fatal to the validity of your notice.
Make sure to verify the accuracy of the information that you write in your Notice of Furnishing Professional Services; otherwise, you may lose your lien rights altogether.

3. Keep a copy of the recorded Notice of Furnishing Professional Services

It is always a good idea to have your own copy of the notices and other lien-related documents that you file in the local clerk’s office. By having a copy of these documents, you keep documented proof that you have complied with the Washington mechanics lien rules as required by the law.

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