As a contractor, it's important to send out early notice forms shortly after beginning work on a construction job. By putting all interested parties on notice, claimants can help protect their lien rights. One important early notice form is called a Notice of Contractual Retainage, as defined at Sec. 53.057 of the Texas Property Code.
Retainage means an amount representing part of a contract payment that is not required to be paid to the claimant within the month following the month in which labor is performed, material is furnished, or specially fabricated material is delivered. TEX. PROP. CODE 53.001(11). Simply put, it is a portion of the agreed upon contract price that is deliberately withheld until the work reaches substantial completion to assure that contractor or subcontractor will satisfy its obligations and complete a construction project. If the job is not up to par, the retainage amount is used to make any changes or fixes.
Give this notice to all other interested parties to make them aware that the person who hired you is withholding a retainage amount from you under your contract. Therefore, once provided with the notice, the other parties above you can withhold a matching retainage amount. If you are an original contractor on the job, the notice is not required since the owner already has such notice of any retainage agreement.
Use this form if you do not have a direct contract with the owner or the original contractor. Thus, you need to provide this notice to these parties to make them aware of the existing retainage agreement. The claimant must give the owner or reputed owner the notice of contractual retainage no later than the earlier of: (a) the 30th day after the date the claimant's agreement providing for retainage is completed, terminated, or abandoned; or (b) the 30th day after the date the original contract is terminated or abandoned. TEX. PROP. CODE 53.057(b).
The Notice of Contractual Retainage does not need to be notarized or recorded. Instead, deliver it to relevant parties via certified or registered US mail, with return receipt requested.
Each case is unique, and the Texas lien law is complicated. Contact an attorney for complex situations, with specific questions about sending a notice of contractual retainage, or any other issue about mechanic's liens.
Deeds.com Texas Notice of Contractual Retainage Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Monday June 24, 2019
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