CALIFORNIA PRELIMINARY NOTICE FORM, CALIFORNIA 20 DAY NOTICE, CALIFORNIA PRE LIEN, CALIFORNIA CPN, CALIFORNIA PRELIM, CALIFORNIA SUBCONTRACTOR NOTICE OF LIEN RIGHTS FORM.
WE HAVE THE NEW (July 2012 laws) CALIFORNIA PRELIMINARY NOTICE!
The California Preliminary Notice, sometimes called the CA 20 Day Notice, the CA Pre-Lien, the CA CPN, the CA Prelim or the Subcontractor Notice of Lien Rights is an important form that EVERY California Licensed Contractor should have on hand to protect their right to file a mechanic's lien. In all cases, a subcontractor must notify the direct contractor, the property owner, and the project lender with the California Preliminary Notice, as the first step in the California mechanic's lien process. Miss this step, and you have lost your right to a mechanics lien.
What is the California Preliminary Notice?
The California preliminary notice or 20 Day Notice as some people call it, is a notice intended to inform a property owner, lender and/or project contractor or other interested party, that someone is working on the project who has a right to file and enforce a Mechanic's Lien or Stop Notice against the property.
Who needs to give the California Preliminary Notice?
If you have a "direct contractual relationship" with the property owner (i.e., the owner or the owners agent signed a contract directly with you) you are then classified as a Direct Contractor and you do not need to give a Preliminary Notice to the property owner to protect your lien rights. In this case, the property owner obviously knows of your existence since he has signed a contract with you and has probably been informed of your lien rights in that same contract. IMPORTANT: If there is a construction lender on the project, even a Direct Contractor should give this lender a preliminary notice to inform them of the Direct Contractors existence, contact information, and right to lien.
If you are a contractor, subcontractor or if you are a material supplier and you do not have a direct contractual relationship with the owner but are dealing through another contractor such as a general contractor or another subcontractor, you MUST SERVE the preliminary notice in order to later enforce a mechanic's lien. No CPN then No Lien, it's as simple as that.
What is the 20 Days all about?
You must serve the Preliminary Notice within 20 days from first furnishing labor or materials. If you are late serving this notice, then your lien rights are limited and will not cover labor or materials furnished anytime prior to the 20 days before service of the notice. Get in the habit of sending out a California Preliminary Notice right after the contract is signed!
When you order this form you will receive an informational sheet and timeline with instructions for filing a California Mechanics Lien as well as the ALL IMPORTANT transmittal letter that should accompany any 20 Day Notice to explain it and "soften the blow" of receiving it. (see this blog post for the importance of this Transmittal Letter)
This CPN(The BRAND NEW California Preliminary Notice Form) Including the ALL important transmittal letter is available as:
"Instant" fillable PDF form- $25
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