In Utah, mechanic's liens are governed under Title 38, Chapter 1A of the Utah Code.
A preliminary notice is a type of pre-lien notice that must be served on a property owner before any lien can be claimed later on. The notice is a required process under Utah's mechanic's lien law, and failure to comply may result in loss of the potential claimant's right to a mechanic's lien.
Any person who desires to claim a construction lien against real property must file a preliminary notice with the construction registry no later than 20 days after the day on which the person commences providing construction work on the real property. UTAH CODE ANN. 38-1A-501(1)(a). The preliminary notice will then be effective as to all construction work that the person filing the notice provides to the construction project under a single original contract, including construction work that the person provides to more than one supervisory subcontractor under that original contract. 38-1A-501(1)(b).
If a person who desires to claim a construction lien on real property fails to file a timely preliminary notice within the above period specified, he or she may file a preliminary notice with the registry after the period specified. 38-1A-501(1)(c)(i). However, any person who files a preliminary notice is not permitted to claim a construction lien for construction work the person provides to the construction project before the date that is five days after the preliminary notice is filed. 38-1A-501(1)(c)(ii).
Aside from the exception described above, a preliminary notice has no effect if it is filed more than 10 days after the filing of a notice of completion for the construction project for which the preliminary notice is filed. 38-1A-501(1)(d). Any person who fails to file a preliminary notice as required may not claim a construction lien under Utah law. 38-1A-501(1)(e). A preliminary notice that is filed with the registry is considered to be filed at the time of the first preliminary notice filing. 38-1A-501(1)(f).
If a preliminary notice filed with the registry includes the tax parcel identification number (TPIN) of a parcel not previously associated in the registry with a construction project, the designated agent shall promptly notify the person who filed the preliminary notice that: (i) the preliminary notice includes a tax parcel identification number of a parcel not previously associated in the registry with a construction project; and (ii) the likely explanation is that the preliminary notice is the first filing for the project; or the tax parcel identification number is incorrectly stated in the preliminary notice. 38-1A-501(1)(g).
The preliminary notice document includes the following: (1) the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the person providing the construction work for which the preliminary notice is filed; (2) the name and address of the person who contracted with the claimant; (3) the name of the record or reputed owner; (4) the name of the original contractor; (5) the address of the project property or a description of the location of the project; (6) the name of the county in which the project property is located; (6) the tax parcel identification number of each parcel included in the project property; (7) the entry number of a previously filed notice of construction loan on the same project; (8) the entry number of a previously filed preliminary notice on the same project that includes the tax parcel identification number of each parcel included in the project property; and (9) the entry number of the building permit issued for the project. 38-1A-501(1)(h).
The notice also includes space for the optional provisions, if any apply, including: (1) the subdivision, development, or other project name applicable to the construction project for which the preliminary notice is filed; and (2) the lot or parcel number of each lot or parcel that is included in the project property. Id.
The burden is upon the person filing the preliminary notice to prove that the person has substantially complied with its requirements. 38-1A-501(2)(a). This means the person files a preliminary notice that links, within the registry, to a preliminary notice filed by an original contractor for the same construction project, using the entry number assigned to the original contractor's preliminary notice. 38-1A-501(2)(b).
Substantial compliance as the remaining requirements of the notice may be established by a person's reasonable reliance on information in the registry provided by a previously filed: (1) notice of construction loan; (2) preliminary notice; or (3) building permit. 38-1A-501(2)(c).
Any person required to give preliminary notice is required to give only one notice for each construction project. 38-1A-501(3)(a). If the construction work is provided pursuant to contracts under more than one original contract for construction work, the notice requirements shall be met with respect to the construction work provided under each original contract. 38-1A-501(3)(b).
If filing a preliminary notice by alternate means, the person filing is responsible for verifying and changing any incorrect information in the preliminary notice before the expiration of the time period during which the notice is required to be filed. 38-1A-501(4). A person who files a preliminary notice that contains inaccurate or incomplete information may not be held liable for damages suffered by any other person who relies on the inaccurate or incomplete information in filing a preliminary notice. 38-1A-501(5).
Sign the document in front of a notary. Once completed, the notice is uploaded to the online Utah construction registry using an established account.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice from an attorney. Please contact a Utah attorney with questions about preliminary notice or any other issues regarding construction liens.
Deeds.com Utah Preliminary Notice of Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Wednesday February 15, 2023
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