Many states, including Oklahoma, mandate that a contractor, subcontractor, or other service provider first serve a preliminary notice on a property owner in order to preserve the rights to claim a mechanic's lien. The purpose of such notice is to make the owner aware of the parties involved in their construction job, which in turn protects the property from any "hidden liens" filed claimants who later come out of the woodwork. As is often the case in construction jobs, contractors employ persons below them who could have a lien claim even if the owner paid the first contractor in full.
In Oklahoma, prior to filing a lien statement, no later than seventy-five (75) days after the last date of supply of material, services, labor, or equipment in which the claimant is entitled or may be entitled to lien rights, the claimant must send to the last-known address of the original contractor and an owner of the property a pre-lien notice. O.S. 142.6(B)(1). No lien affecting property occupied as a dwelling by an owner will be valid unless the pre-lien notice was sent within seventy-five (75) days of the last furnishing of materials, services, labor or equipment by the claimant. Id.
The pre-lien notice must be in writing and contain the following: (1) a statement that the notice is a pre-lien notice, (2) the complete name, address, and telephone number of the claimant, or the claimant's representative, (3) the date of supply of material, services, labor, or equipment, (4) a description of the material, services, labor, or equipment, (5) the name and last-known address of the person who requested that the claimant provide the material, services, labor, or equipment, (6) the address, legal description, or location of the property to which the material, services, labor, or equipment has been supplied, (7) a statement of the dollar amount of the material, services, labor, or equipment furnished or to be furnished, and (8) the signature of the claimant, or the claimant's representative. O.S. 142.6(B)(4).
The claimant may also request in writing, that the original contractor provide to the claimant the name and last-known address of an owner of the property. O.S. 142.6(B)(6). Failure of the original contractor to provide the claimant with the information requested within five (5) days from the date of receipt of the request shall render the pre-lien notice requirement to the owner of the property unenforceable. Id.
The claimant must also furnish to the county clerk at the time of the filing of the lien statement a notarized affidavit verifying compliance with the pre-lien notice requirements. O.S. 142.6(C). Any claimant who falsifies the affidavit will be guilty of a misdemeanor, punished by a fine of not more than $5000, or by imprisonment for a maximum of thirty days. Id.
Sending the preliminary notice is vital to protect lien rights. Failure by the claimant to comply with the pre-lien notice requirements will invalidate that portion of the lien claim without notice. O.S. 142.6(D). Therefore, by complying with the notice statute, potential claimants ensure their lien rights will be available if ever needed.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon a substitute for the advice of a legal professional. Please contact an attorney with questions about preliminary lien notice, or any other issues related to liens in Oklahoma.
Deeds.com Oklahoma Preliminary Notice Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Wednesday January 16, 2019
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