Preliminary Notice-Private Work

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Note: This information is limited in scope and applies only to this document. Please see the general information, all forms memo and the general information memo for this type of document, for additional information.

Title of Document: Notice to Owner (Prior to Performance).

Scope: State of Alabama, Private Works

Time Constraints: A Preliminary Notice for private works in Alabama is not exactly needed, but highly recommended. The ability to establish full lien rights (that is, the full balance of the moneys due your company, whether the owner has paid your customer or not) against the project property depends on the type of relationship you have with the owner:

When you contract directly with the owners, you have an automatic full balance lien.

When you contract with Prime Contractors or Sub-contractors, (the situation for most suppliers) you have lien rights only on the unpaid moneys due the Prime Contractor or Sub-contractor from the owners. However, if you serve the owners, construction lenders and sureties (if any) with a Preliminary Notice prior to furnishing your labor, materials or service, and the owners do not disclaim responsibility before the labor is performed or the materials used, you establish a right to a full balance lien. You must send a Lien Warning Notice, however, before filing a lien. See Alabama Lien Warning Notice, Private Work, for more details.

So, the second you have the contract, mail your preliminary notices immediately.

Information Requirements: The information required by program and whether you intend to send an owner cover letter.

Forms Types: Preliminary Notice for Furnishing Labor, Materials or Equipment, Exhibits A-D (if needed) and Owner Letter.

Procedures: Enter the program data, including Additional Legal Parties or Releases for Other Companies. Copies of all of the forms (less the Owner Cover Letter and the Recorder Letter) must be sent to all legal owners, all lenders and all sureties. Sending a copy to the general contractors or your customer (unless he is the owner, general contractor, lender or surety.) is optional.

Important: When in doubt file your lien claim immediately. If you fail to prepare and serve your Preliminary Notice before furnishing, your lien rights revert only to the unpaid balance due your customer. If they have already been paid before you furnish, you may find yourself with an uncollectable bill and no lien rights at all.

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