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Texas Third Month Notice
Under Texas lien law, all claimants other than the original contractor must provide preliminary notice to establish a claim for a valid mechanic's lien. TEX. PROP. CODE 53.056(a).
A mechanic's lien is an encumbrance on an owner's title, used to guarantee payment to builders, contractors, and construction businesses which build or repair structures, by using the property where the work was completed as a form of collateral. Suppliers of materials and subcontractors may also claim a mechanic's lien. The lien ensures that the workmen are paid before anyone else if the property subject to the lien is eventually foreclosed upon.
Texas requires prelien notice to be served on the owner and other interested parties before filing and recording a mechanic's lien. The type of project (whether residential or commercial) determines what kind of prelien notice must be served. Prelien notices serve two purposes: to protect the interests of subcontractors and suppliers, and to give property owners a defense against having to pay twice for parts of the same project.
If the lien claim arises from a debt incurred by the original contractor, the claimant must give notice to the owner or reputed owner, with a copy to the original contractor, in accordance with 53.056(b). TEX. PROP. CODE 53.056(c). The document identifies the parties, the project, date and type of service/materials, amount billed, and balance due. Attach an invoice to clarify more specific details.
Deliver the notice to the original contractor must be given no later than the 15th day of the second month following each month in which all or part of the claimant's labor was performed or material delivered. Id. This notice is also known as a "Second Month Notice." The claimant must give the same notice to the owner or reputed owner and the original contractor NO LATER than the 15th day of the third month following each month in which all or part of the claimant's labor was performed or material or specially fabricated material was delivered. Id. This notice is called a "Third Month Notice."
The notice must be sent by registered or certified mail and must be addressed to the original contractor at his or her last known business or residence address. TEX. PROP. CODE 53.056(e).
Remember that each case is unique and the mechanic's lien law in Texas can be complicated and unforgiving of mistakes. Therefore, contact an attorney for complex situations, with specific questions the required preliminary notice, or any other issue related to mechanic's liens.
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