Minnesota Mechanic’s Lien–General Contractor Pre-lien Notice
Before you file your Minnesota mechanic’s lien, as in most states, there is a requirement of a pre-lien notice. In this article let us address the requirements for a general contractor.
All Minnesota contractors who have a direct contract with the owner and who, in turn, sub out portions of the work to subcontractors. For example, a traditional general contractor with a direct verbal or written contract with the owner who acts as the prime and who hires one or more subcontractors is required to give the Notice. But if the prime contractor does all the work with his or her own crew, the Notice would not be required. And, a subcontractor who has a direct contract with the owner would not have to serve the Notice, assuming there are no sub-subcontractors involved.
This notice is only required for smaller residential projects in which it is assumed by the State that the owners are not sophisticated. There is no need to serve this prelien notice on
the following projects:
(1) work is done to commercial (and non-agricultural) property or part commercial and residential property in which you are performing the following work:
a) new commercial construction of 5,000 or more square feet of usable space;
b) adding an additional 5,000 square feet to an existing commercial structure;
(c) not adding-on, but working on a commercial structure that is already 5,000 or more square feet.
2) as described above, the notice is only required for smaller residential property (remodels and new construction). If the improvement is for five or more family residential units, especially condominiums and subdivisions, the notice is not required.
Finally, the notice is not required, regardless of the nature of the project, if the general contractor will not be entering into a contract with any other subcontractors or suppliers and will do everything himself or herself by the company’s own crew.
For this reason, there must be care in fashioning your pre-lien notice as a prerequisite to a Minnesota mechanic’s lien.