Mechanics Lien in Nevada—Start With a Pre-Lien Notice
For a subcontractor or supplier in this State, filing a Nevada mechanic’s lien after completion of the project and non-payment is a virtual necessity. It is also a powerful weapon in recovering receivables. But what you do not want to do is in any way jeopardizing the effectiveness of a Nevada lien by not filing proper pre-lien notice. Lettuce discuss one and notices that must be served at the beginning of the project.
Regardless of your license status, any contractor or supplier that does not have a direct contract with the owner is required to serve a pre-lien notice before the Nevada mechanic’s lien, called “Notice of Right to Lien (Preliminary Notice)”. This means if you have a direct purchase order, oral contract, or written agreement with the owner, the notice is not required.
But what about performing labor services only? This is somewhat of a gray area in this State. If someone is working for wages only, there is no requirement of serving the notice. But most subcontractors have crew members that perform labor only. Does that mean that notice does not have to be served for those services? Probably not. Crew members are essentially furnishing labor and materials. Dispensing with a notice would only be allowed if there was a genuine independent contractor performing labor only. We would go so far as to say if you are performing residential services and the homeowner supplies the materials and you are conferring labor only, since you are operating as a licensed contractor, the notice would be recommended. It is just not worth jeopardizing your mechanic’s lien in Nevada.
But what about tenant improvement work? It is also recommended serving the notice. Although there is a Nevada case that found no need to serve a notice because the owner/landlord knew of and consented to the improvement and failed to file a Notice of Non-Responsibility. it is just too dangerous to risk unavailability of the Nevada mechanic’s lien without that pre-lien notice.
When to serve? Serve the notice within 31 days of first furnishing labor and materials. To be safe, and get it out of the way, send a notice as soon as your contract is signed. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as a too early notice. Technically, you could serve it right after the quote is accepted and before the contract is signed. If you forget, you should still serve the notice late, because there is some authority allowing a Nevada mechanic’s lien for the unpaid work 31 days prior to serving the notice and everything in the future.
How to Serve. Serve the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested. If you are uncertain as to the owner, give us a call and we can do a title search. Other sources of information consist of the county assessor’s office, the county recorder’s office, or go to customer services of a local title company and they will search the records, typically for free (nowadays they use a give you an 800 number at the main national office).
Because the notice is not recorded, it need not be notarized.
Now that you are done, you can be assured of performing one of the prerequisites to eventually filing a Nevada mechanic’s lien if you were unpaid at the end of the project.