Mechanic’s Liens and Preliminary Notices in Virginia


Ever visited a construction site? If you have, you will find many people working together towards a common goal of constructing a building or a number of buildings. Amongst those working at a construction site, you will come across general contractors, sub-contractors, workers, sometimes raw material suppliers and many more. Despite so many people working together, you will often come across news stating non-payment of dues to contractors and workers alike. This is where a mechanic’s lien steps into the picture.

What Is a Mechanic’s Lien?
When you talk about construction liens in Virginia, it basically refers to a legal claim against a given property such as a home. These legal documents are generally used by suppliers and sub-contractors when they fail to receive their dues for any type of improvements that they may have made to a property. You may say that a mechanic’s lien is a way to seek full payment for any type of work done such as improving r remodeling a home.

In order to protect the interest of contractors and various other craftspeople, mechanic’s lien is offered as a legal course by every state. In order to take full advantage of this type of protection, there are several steps that should be followed, irrespective of where you stay. One of the most important element in majority of the states is providing a preliminary notice in advance.

What Is A Preliminary Notice?
Preliminary notice is basically a notification to the owner of a property or a construction project that states that a contractor or sub-contractor, raw material provider or any other party is reserving their right to file a mechanic’s lien if no payment is made to them in due course of time.

However, it is important for you to understand that this notice is not the mechanic’s lien. It is just a notification that is basically aimed at preserving the right to file the mechanic’s lien if there is a need to do so. In all those states where preliminary notices are mandatory, failure to send the notice can easily cost you the right to file the lien later.

What If You Fail To File The Notice?
If the construction site is located within a state where the sending the preliminary notice is not important, you have the right to file the mechanic’s lien if you fail to receive the payment. However, if the construction is in one of the forty states where it is mandatory to send preliminary notices and you fail to do so, it is very likely that you have failed your right to file a lien.

It is important for you to know that if you find out now that you need to file a preliminary notice and you are still providing services for a project, there is still hope for you. It is true that late filing may result in you losing out on your rights for some work. However, preserve your rights to mechanic’s lien for any type of work that you do within the notice window.

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