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Frequently Asked Questions – California

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  1. About Easy Law Construction Notices

    • Does Easy Law have a referral to a qualified construction law attorney for my state?

      Refer to California Property Statutes.
      For California construction law issues, call attorney Scott Green:

  2. Pre-Lien Notices

    • What is the notice called in my state?

      In California the pre-lien notice is called a "Preliminary Notice (private work)" and must be sent within 20 days of beginning work on the project.

    • What are the specific notice requirements?

      Subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment renters, etc., who have not contracted directly with the owner of the property being improved, must give the property owner, general contractor, construction lender, if any, a Preliminary Notice within 20 days after the claimant has first furnished labor, services, equipment, or materials to the jobsite. The notice has to identify the property being improved, describe the work being performed, give an estimated value of the services, or materials being provided, and include certain statutory language about the lien law.

    • To whom is notice provided?

      Property owner of record, general contractor and construction lender.

    • How is the notice to be delivered?

      Personal delivery, certified or registered first class mail.

    • When should the notice be provided?

      Within 20 days of the first day that labor, materials, and/or equipment, etc. is provided to the job site. However, a late notice may still provide lien rights, so provide a notice even if more than 20 days have passed since your work started.

    • When to amend a Pre-Lien?

      The law doesn't provide an exact dollar amount which requires an amended preliminary notice, but does indicate that significant increases in the original estimated value of services require an amended notice. A safe rule of thumb to follow is to serve an amended notice whenever the estimated value of your services increases by 20% or more.

    • When should my mechanics lien be recorded?

      Original contractors must record the claim of lien within 90 days after completion of work or once their contract is complete. If a notice of completion or notice of cessation has been recorded the original contractor must file his/her claim of lien within 60 days after recordation of such notice. Each claimant other than an original contractor, must record his/her claim of lien within 90 days after the completion of work of improvement or within 30 days after recordation of a notice of completion or notice of cessation. Consult an experienced construction law attorney to determine when your particular lien should be recorded.

    • Do different rules apply for public projects?

      California does not allow liens to be recorded against public entities, however, subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment renters, etc. can protect themselves by filing a claim against the bond or a stop notice. A Preliminary Notice (public work) should be sent prior to the assertion of a claim against a payment bond, or the filing of a stop notice on a public work. Consult with a qualified construction law attorney in your area to obtain specific information for your particular claim.

    • Does my state require a prime contractor on a public project to post a payment bond for the protection and benefit of potential claimants who have supplied labor and/or materials to the project?

      Prime Contractors are required to post a payment bond on all public projects with a value of $25,000.00 or more.

    • Where can I get legal advice from an experienced construction law attorney and obtain more information?

      Refer to California Property Statutes.
      For California construction law issues, call attorney Scott Green:

  3. Mechanics Liens

    • Where can I get legal advice from an experienced construction law attorney and obtain more information?

      Refer to California Property Statutes.
      For California construction law issues, call attorney Scott Green:

  4. Stop Payment Notices

    • Where can I get legal advice from an experienced construction law attorney and obtain more information?

      Refer to California Property Statutes.
      For California construction law issues, call attorney Scott Green:

  5. Payment Bond Claims

    • When a payment bond is posted on a public project, is a notice required before a claimant can make a claim against the bond?

      Yes, everyone except for claimants who have contracted with the prime contractor must serve a Preliminary 20-Day Notice.

    • What are the notice requirements for a claim against a payment bond?

      In order to enforce a claim against a payment bond, a claimant shall give a 20-Day Public Works Preliminary Notice. If notice was not given, a claimant may enforce a claim by giving written notice to the surety and the bond principal within 15 days after recordation of a notice of completion. If no notice of completion has been recorded, the time for giving such notices is extended to 75 days after completion of the work of improvement. Notice must be given by personal delivery, certified or registered mail, postage prepaid and shall state the amount claimed and the name of the person for whom the work was performed or the materials supplied.

    • Where can I get legal advice from an experienced construction law attorney and obtain more information?

      Refer to California Property Statutes.
      For California construction law issues, call attorney Scott Green:

  6. Miller Act Claims

    • Where can I get legal advice from an experienced construction law attorney?

      Refer to California Property Statutes.
      For California construction law issues, call attorney Scott Green:

  7. Construction Law Attorneys

    • Where can I get legal advice from an experienced construction law attorney and obtain more information?

      Refer to California Property Statutes.
      For California construction law issues, call attorney Scott Green: