Mechanic’s lien–When Work Commences for Pre-lien Notices
An important inquiry is the last day working on the job. This is significant because this time starts ticking as to when you have to file a mechanic’s lien. What about the beginning of the job? That can be important as well.
Take for example California’s requirement by subcontractors and suppliers to serve a preliminary 20 day notice. It must be served within 20 days of commencing your work. If not, a mechanic’s lien may not subsequently be recorded.
Under the definition of commencement, this implies actual work done at the job site. For this reason, it would exclude the following:
1. Negotiating the contract
2. Estimating the lump sum amount
3. Ordering materials
4. Speaking with the building inspector or planning commission
5. Accompanying the owner to supply houses to pick out material (for example paint samples)
6. Visiting the site to see if there are any pre-existing conditions
7. Lining up and negotiating with subcontractors, if you are a prime contractor
8. Inspecting the premises
As soon as you start actual physical work, the time would begin. Because there are typically disputes in this area, is a good idea to have a job diary with notes. That way you can be assured that your future mechanic’s lien be proper.