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Serve a Second Month Notice in Texas Residential and Homestead Projects: Requirements and Deadlines

Serve a Second Month Notice in Texas Residential and Homestead Projects: Requirements and Deadlines

December 29, 2020

The rules on preliminary notices in Texas are some of the most complicated in the country. The requirements differ according to what role you play in a construction project and what type of project it is. Furthermore, you may also need to send one or more preliminary notices every month.

Serve a Texas 2nd Month Notice in minutes

Serve a Texas 2nd Month Notice in minutes

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This guide explains the rules and requirements for serving a Texas preliminary notice, specifically for residential and homestead projects. Learn about the basics on deadlines, required information, and best practices to ensure that you serve a valid Second Month Notice for residential projects in Texas.

What is a Second Month Notice in Texas?

Since Texas has multiple “types” of preliminary notices, we differentiate the Second Month Notice based on its deadline for submission. The Second Month Notice must be served by the 15th day of the second month after each month in which there is unpaid work.

As with most preliminary notices, serving the Second Month Notice is critical to protecting one’s lien rights.

When is a 2nd Month Notice in Texas served

Who must serve a Second Month Notice for residential projects in Texas?

The Second Month Notice for residential projects must be served by those who have no direct contractual relationship with the property owner. The requirement applies to both first-tier and lower-tier subcontractors and material suppliers.

Note that for homestead residential projects, a written contract must be executed prior to commencing work on a project in order for construction parties to have lien rights.

When do you serve a Texas Second Month Notice for residential projects?

As mentioned, the Texas Second Month Notice for residential projects must be served no later than the 15th day of the second month following each month in which there is unpaid work.

Note that the payment does not need to be due in order for the Second Month Notice to be required. If, for instance, you performed work in December and the payment for the services is not due until February, you must still serve a Second Month Notice for Texas residential projects.

Also note that if the 15th day falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline is adjusted to an earlier date than the original due date.

 

Reminder on 2nd Month Notice for residential projects in Texas

What happens if you fail to serve a Texas Second Month Notice for residential projects?

 

 

 

You will relinquish your lien rights for the services that you performed over the given month if you fail to serve a valid Second Month Notice. This means that if payment disputes come up, you will not be able to record a mechanics lien to recover your payment.

It is therefore very important for you to track your monthly preliminary notice requirements in Texas. Be sure to serve a valid Second Month Notice for every month in which there is unpaid work so you are able to successfully preserve your lien rights.

How to serve a Texas Second Month Notice for residential projects

How to serve a Texas 2nd Month Notice for residential projects

1. Prepare the Texas Second Month Notice form

When preparing your Texas Second Month Notice form, keep in mind that the state does not have strict requirements as to what details must be included in the document. You may even simply submit a statement of billing or your invoices and they can qualify as a valid Second Month Notice.

However, it is still best practice to give context and include as many basic details as you can in your Second Month Notice. These pieces of information include:

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the property owner
  • The name and address of the general contractor
  • The name and address of the party who hired you (if different from the GC)
  • A description of the property location
  • A description of the services that you performed
  • The amount that is currently unpaid; include the total as well as a breakdown per month

2. Serve the Texas Second Month Notice

How must you serve the Texas Second Month Notice for residential projects?

You must serve the Second Month Notice via registered or certified mail. Current USPS rates have this at $3.00.

On whom must you serve the Texas Second Month Notice for residential projects?

If you have a direct contract with the general contractor, you must serve the Texas Second Month Notice on both the property owner and the general contractor.

If you do not have a direct contract with the general contractor, you must serve the Second Month Notice only on the general contractor.

When must you serve the Texas Second Month Notice?

You must serve the Second Month Notice by the 15th day of the second month following every month in which there is unpaid work. Remember that if the 15th day falls on a weekend of a statutory holiday, you must serve the notice earlier than the original due date.

Also note that a Texas monthly notice is considered served at the time of mailing. This means that you must make it a point to ensure that you have proof that you have mailed your preliminary notice. Keep all your receipts or sign an Affidavit of Mailing on the same day that you serve your Second Month Notice in Texas.

Best practices for serving a Texas Second Month Notice for residential projects

1. Serve a Second Month Notice every month

You should serve a Second Month Notice for every month in which there is unpaid work. This means that if there is no payment dispute, or if the payment is not due yet, you should still send the owner and/or the general contractor a Second Month Notice. This is to proactively preserve your lien rights in case a payment dispute comes up at a later date.

Send a 2nd monthly notice today

2. Remember to keep a proof of mailing

Since the Second Month Notice is considered served upon mailing, it is important for you to have a documented proof that you have successfully mailed your preliminary notice on or before the deadline. To do this, you may sign an Affidavit of Mailing on the day when you serve your preliminary notice. Also, keep all mailing receipts as a back-up.

3. Record a mechanics lien if payment disputes arise

Keep in mind that a preliminary notice is not a mechanics lien. Preliminary notices preserve your lien rights and ensure that you will be able to record a mechanics lien if payment disputes come up. If you want to successfully recover your payment from a difficult client, you will have a stronger chance of doing so once you record a valid Texas mechanics lien.

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