Georgia Mechanic's Lien on your mind? First file your preliminary notice!
In many states, claimants must file a document known as a "preliminary" or "pre-lien" notice as a prerequisite to securing mechanic's lien rights. Georgia does not adhere to this requirement, so forgetting to file preliminary notice won't cost the claimant's lien rights. Under Georgia law, however, a person with a lien right may, at his or her option, file a preliminary notice. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.3.
Preliminary notices are used by subcontractors and material suppliers who are not under a direct contract with the owner. A preliminary notice form follows a simple format that must include: (1) the name, address, and telephone number of the potential lien claimant; (2) the name and address of the contractor or other person at whose instance the labor, services, or materials were furnished; (3) the name of the owner of the real estate and include a description sufficient to identify the real estate against which the lien is or may be claimed; and (4) include a general description of the labor, services, or materials furnished or to be furnished. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.3(a)(2)---(5).
The preliminary notice of lien rights must be filed with the clerk of superior court of the county in which the real estate is located within thirty (30) days after the date a party delivered any materials or provided any labor or services for which a lien may be claimed. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.3(a)(1).
The Notice must also be served after filing on either the owner or contractor. A party filing a preliminary notice of lien rights (except a contractor) shall, within seven (7) days of filing the notice, send by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery a copy of the notice to the contractor on the property named in the notice or to the owner of the property. The lien claimant may rely on the building permit issued on the property for the name of the contractor. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.3(b).
As stated earlier, the preliminary notice is not a required document. A person having a lien may enforce the lien without filing a preliminary notice of lien. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.3(d). However, filing and serving preliminary notice on an owner or prime contractor is good practice and can help preserve your lien rights, especially when there are multiple claimants.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Please contact an attorney with questions about the preliminary notice or any other issues related to liens in Georgia.
Deeds.com Georgia Preliminary Notice of Mechanics Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Tuesday June 18, 2019
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