20 Day Preliminary Notice Requirements for Contractors and Subcontractors on California Construction
20 DAY or PRELIMINARY NOTICE REQUIREMENTS ON
CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN CALIFORNIA
• First Tier Subcontractors Having a Direct Contract With the Public Agency or Private Property Owner - Do Not Have to Serve a Preliminary Notice on Public Projects.
• Caution - Play it Safe and Serve Notice.
• Subcontractors and suppliers must ALWAYS Serve a Preliminary Notice
• Notice - Must be Served on Prime Contractor and Public Agency on Public Jobs, or on
Prime Contractor, Property Owner & Construction Loan Lender on Private Jobs
• Methods of Service for 20- Day Preliminary Notice
• Personal Service by process server or third party
• First Class Mail Allowed on Public Project (Not on Private jobs)
• If Mailing, Best Practice is by Certified Mail -Request Return Receipt
• Contractor Place of Business - Do Not Mail to Job Site!
• Check Contract Documents for Proper Public Entity and Owner & Lender
PRIVATE AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS
• Are you a prime contractor or a subcontractor?
• All persons who do not have a direct contract with the owner of the property - including material suppliers to a contractor or subcontractors and persons contracting with a tenant- are considered "subcontractors" for purposes of meeting the requirements of the Mechanics Lien Stop Notice and Payment Bond Laws.
• Even if you are a licensed general contractor, you are considered to be a "subcontractor" for certain purposes under the California Mechanics Lien Law when your contract is not a direct contract with owner of the property, such as when a general contractor contracts with a tenant of the owner of the property on either public property or private property.
N.B. The contents of this Article do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship, and you may not rely on it without seeking legal advice regarding your particular situation and contract from a competent construction attorney. Please also note that statutes and case law are frequently changing and these materials may become outdated.