If you are working on a construction project in Nevada, chances are you are required by law to serve a preliminary notice.
The preliminary notice in Nevada comes in many names, such as Notice of Right to Lien and 31-Day Preliminary Notice. As with most preliminary notices, this Notice of Right to Lien is one of the most important documents that you have to prepare in order to protect your lien rights.
This guide will walk you through the process of serving the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien, from filling out the form to serving the document using different options.
- Who must serve the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada?
- Why is it important to serve the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien?
- When should you serve the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien?
- What happens if you fail to serve the Nevada preliminary notice within the 31-day time frame?
- Serving the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien: 2 Simple Steps
- 3 Common Mistakes When Serving the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien
Who must serve the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada?
All construction participants are required to serve the Notice of Right to Lien, except for two parties:
- Those who have a direct contract with the property owner, and
- Those who perform “only labor” for the project.
This means that unless you are a wage laborer, a general contractor, or a construction professional who is in direct contact with the owner (e.g. a material supplier directly selling goods to the owner), you must submit the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada.
Why is it important to serve the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien?
Failing to serve the Notice of Right to Lien may result in losing your right to file a mechanics lien. If you are required by the statutory laws to serve this notice, then you must fulfill this requirement in order to protect your lien rights.
Protecting your lien rights must be your top priority when you start working on a construction project. Even if no payment issues have come up yet, you must keep in mind that payment disputes and delays are fairly common in the construction industry.
It is therefore very important that you secure your rights to file a mechanics lien, just in case payment concerns arise in the future. Having the legal right to pursue payment from a delinquent client is exclusive to the construction industry, so you must take advantage of this right.
When should you serve the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien?
The Notice of Right to Lien may be filed at any time after you begin working on a project.
However, this preliminary notice is also known as the 31-Day Notice in Nevada. As the name implies, this notice must be ideally served within 31 days after first furnishing labor, materials, and other services to the project.
TIP: Do not delay the submission of the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada. You must serve the Notice of Right to Lien as early as possible to avoid potential issues.
What happens if you fail to serve the Nevada preliminary notice within the 31-day time frame?
The 31-day window is not a hard-and-fast deadline for the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada. This means that failing to serve the notice within that 31-day time span will not automatically revoke your lien rights.
However, note that your right to file a mechanics lien only applies to the work you have done in the previous 31 days prior to the day you submit the Notice of Right to Lien.
Say, you start working on August 1, and you submitted your Notice of Right to Lien on September 10. Counting 31 days before September 10, the resulting date would be August 10 — your lien will therefore only be valid from the work you have done since August 10.
If you serve your Notice of Right to Lien way past the 31-day period following your first day of work, your mechanics lien will not be effective or enforceable for the entirety of the time that you spent on the project.
REMEMBER: The Nevada mechanics lien will be valid only for the work that you did during the 31 days prior to the date you served the Notice of Right to Lien. Payment for the work beyond the 31-day period will not be claimable via a mechanics lien.
Serving the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien: 2 Simple Steps
- Prepare the Notice of Right to Lien form
- Serve the Notice of Right to Lien on the required parties
Preparing the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien form
Serving the Notice of Right to Lien will, of course, begin with preparing the notice document.
What information should be in the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada?
The Nevada statutes do not specify the information that must be included in your Notice of Right to Lien, but they do recommend that the notice be substantially in the following form:
NOTICE OF RIGHT TO LIEN
(Owner’s name and address)
The undersigned notifies you that he or she has supplied materials or equipment or performed work or services as follows:
(General description of materials, equipment, work or services)
for improvement of property identified as (property description or street address) under contract with (general contractor or subcontractor). This is not a notice that the undersigned has not been or does not expect to be paid, but a notice required by law that the undersigned may, at a future date, record a notice of lien as provided by law against the property if the undersigned is not paid.
Based on the form above, at least the following information must be included in your Nevada Notice of Right to Lien form:
- The name and the address of the owner or reputed owner
- The name of the claimant or the party serving the notice
- A general description of the kind of service(s) being provided to the projected
Must the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada be notarized?
No, the preliminary notice in Nevada does not have to be notarized. NRS Section 108.245(4) states that “the notice [of right to lien] need not be verified, sworn to or acknowledged.”
Serving the Notice of Right to Lien
Once you have the document ready, you may now serve the Notice of Right to Lien.
On whom must you serve the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada?
The Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada must be served on the property owner and the general contractor of the project.
The Notice of Right to Lien is primarily intended for the owner to get notified of the multiple construction participants who are working for their property.
Requiring all subcontractors and material suppliers to serve the Notice of Right to Lien helps the property owner keep track of which parties may record a mechanics lien against their property if payment disputes occur.
However, the Notice of Right to Lien must still be sent to the general contractor for information purposes. Failing to serve the Notice of Right to Lien on the general contractor will not invalidate the notice that was sent to the property owner, but it could be a ground for disciplinary proceedings.
TIP: If you’re a subcontractor or material supplier required to file a Notice of Right to Lien, never forget to send the notice to BOTH the property owner and the general contractor.
How must you serve the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada?
The Notice of Right to Lien may be served using three different methods:
- In-person delivery
- Certified mail, preferably with return receipt requested
- Online submission via the Handle app
Delivering the notice in person is a valid way of serving the notice according to the Nevada statutes. However, make sure that you can keep a documented proof that the notice has been served and received by the owner and the general contractor.
Sending the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada by certified mail is another valid method. If you decide to serve the notice using this method, make sure that you select the option to have “return receipt requested.”
With return receipt requested, the recipient of the notice will be required to sign an acknowledgement of receipt, which you may use as proof of fulfilling the notice requirement.
Online via the Handle app
Another way to serve the Notice of Right to Lien is to use the Handle app. Handle ensures that the notice you are submitting is properly filled and is accordingly sent to the intended recipients, both the property owner and the general contractor.
Handle has legal and construction experts who will ensure your Notice of Right to Lien conforms to the Nevada statutory laws.
Handle can also take care of your other lien-related concerns, not just the preliminary notice. If payment disputes arise in the future, Handle can help you process your mechanics lien in Nevada.
3 Common Mistakes When Serving the Nevada Notice of Right to Lien
Not serving the Notice of Right to Lien within the first 31 days of work
Some construction professionals delay the submission of the Notice of Right to Lien, especially because it may be served at any time during the project.
While there is no hard deadline for serving the Notice of Right to Lien in Nevada, it is still important that you serve the notice as early as possible.
Serving the notice late limits the coverage of your potential mechanics lien claim. You want to protect your right to get paid for all, and not just part, of the work that you have performed on a project.
Another reason construction participants serve the preliminary notice late is they are worried about creating some friction between them and the property owner.
However, keep in mind the Notice of Right to Lien is not a threat—it is simply a declaration informing the owner that you are doing work on their property and that you expect to get paid for such work.
Serving the Notice of Right to Lien also opens your communication lines with the property owner, and open communication is always a plus when you are working on a large-scale project.
Not documenting the proof that the Notice of Right to Lien has been served
Another common pitfall is failure to secure proof that the Notice of Right to Lien has been delivered to the property owner and the general contractor.
The Notice of Right to Lien is a requirement for almost all construction stakeholders, and failing to fulfill this requirement may be detrimental to your mechanics lien claim.
TIP: Think proactively and always keep documented proof of fulfilling your lien requirements, including the timely service of your Nevada Notice of Right to Lien.
Serving the Notice of Right to Lien via the Handle app ensures that all paperwork is being tracked and all possible legal proofs are filed.
If you prefer to serve the notice yourself, the best method to use is to send the Notice of Right to Lien by certified mail with return receipt requested. Also make sure that you keep all receipts, certifications, and proof of mailing.
Not filing a mechanics lien altogether
Many construction participants assume that the Notice of Right to Lien is already equivalent to an actual mechanics lien or Notice of Lien. This is not the case.
REMEMBER: The Notice of Right to Lien or any preliminary notice is NOT the same as an actual mechanics lien.
The Nevada statutes specifically state in Section 108.245(2) that the Notice of Right to Lien “does not constitute a lien or give actual or constructive notice of a lien for any purpose.”
This means that even if you have duly served the Notice of Right to Lien, you will still have to file an actual mechanics lien against the property if you end up not getting paid for your services.
Always keep in mind that filing the mechanics lien in Nevada is a completely different process with a different set of procedures.