Pennsylvania
Preliminary Notice-Private Works

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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.

Document Title: Preliminary Notice of Intention to File a Claim.

Scope: State of Pennsylvania, Private Works

Special Note: You may file a private work lien claim in Pennsylvania only if you are a contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor or laborer of the project. No other parties have a right to a lien. In addition, the amount of the claim must exceed $500.00 (PA 49, 1301).

If you are normally a material man solely of a job, the only way you can enforce a lien is to find a way to make yourself a subcontractor or sub-subcontractor of the job. For your information, the following defines contractor or subcontractor:

"Contractor" means one who, by contract with the owner, express or implied, erects, constructs, alters or repairs an improvement or any part thereof or furnishes labor, skill or superintendence thereto; or supplies or hauls materials, fixtures, machinery or equipment reasonably necessary for and actually used therein; or any or all of the foregoing, whether as superintendent, builder or material man.

"Subcontractor" means one who, by contract with the contractor (or subcontractor), express or implied, erects, constructs, alters or repairs an improvement or any part thereof; or furnishes labor, skill or superintendence thereto; or supplies or hauls materials, fixtures, machinery or equipment reasonably necessary for and actually used therein; or any or all of the foregoing, whether as superintendent, builder or material man (PA 49, 1201).

The key: Get yourself signed up as a contractor or subcontractor for the job, and you can lien. Make a requirement of supplying the job.

Time Constraints: A Preliminary Notice of Intention to File a Claim must be prepared and served on the owners, general contractors and lenders (and sureties, if one exists) by personal service or certified mail on or before completion of your work for the owner or prime contractor after the amount due or become due is not paid. We strongly urge you to serve this notice immediately upon your first furnishing of labor, materials or services.

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

Form Types: Notice of the Right to Claim a Lien, Exhibits A-D (if needed) and Owner Letter (if used).

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 general contractors, all lenders and all sureties. Sending a copy to your customer is optional (unless they are the owners, general contractors, lenders or sureties).

When in doubt, file your lien claim immediately.

Important: If you fail to prepare and serve your Preliminary Notice within statutory times mentioned about, you may lose your right to lien. Once the Preliminary Notice is served you may serve your Notice of Intent to File a Lien, Stop Notice or Bond Claim.

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