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What is a Preliminary Notice?

A Preliminary Notice is information you file in the State Construction Registry to advise the original contractor and owner that the you are you furnishing material, labor, services, or equipment to a particular construction project1 .

1   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-32

Who must file a Preliminary Notice?

A Preliminary Notice must be filed by all contractors and suppliers who are not original contractors2. An "original contractor" is any supplier or contractor who is not hired directly by the owner3.

2   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-32(1)(a)(i)

1   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-2

What information must a Preliminary Notice include?

A Preliminary Notice must include:

  1. the building permit number for the project, or the SCR number;
  2. the name, address, and telephone number of the person furnishing the labor, service, equipment, or material;
  3. the name and address of the person who contracted for the furnishing of the labor, service, equipment, or material;
  4. the name of the record or reputed owner of the project;
  5. the name of the original contractor under whom the claimant is or will be performing its contract; and
  6. the address of the project or a description of the project4.

4   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-32(1)(d)(ii)

When must a Preliminary Notice be filed?

Generally, the Preliminary Notice should be filed in the State Construction Registry within twenty (20) days after the subcontractor or supplier first furnishes labor or material to a project5.

Preliminary Notice Timeline

Figure 1 Preliminary Notice Deadline

In the example above, your first work is on April 7. A Preliminary Notice for this work is filed twelve days later on April 19. Since the twenty day deadline would have been April 27, the Preliminary Notice is well within the deadline, and since the Preliminary Notice is filed on time, you will have lien rights from April 7, the first day of work, all the way through to the end of the project.

If you want to have lien rights for all work on the project, the Preliminary Notice must be filed within twenty days after your first date of work. However, if this is not done, it is still possible to file the Preliminary Notice later. But doing so will place certain limitation on your lien rights. If the Preliminary Notice is filed more than twenty (20) days after your first work, it does not take effect until five days after it is filed.

Lien Rights Timeline

Figure 2 Preliminary Notice Five Day Penalty

In this example, your first work is on May 1. The Preliminary Notice is due on May 21. However, you fail to file the lien within the first 20 days and instead file it onMay 24, three days after the deadline. Under these circumstances, your lien rights will begin on May 29, five days after you filed the Preliminary Notice, and you will have no lien rights from May 1 to May 28.

5   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-32(1)(a)

What happens if a Preliminary Notice is not filed?

If a Preliminary Notice is not filed, lien rights are lost6; unless, the Notice of Commencement is invalidated7.

6   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-32(1)(c)

7   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-31(3)

Is a Preliminary Notice required for private and public construction projects?


Does more than one Preliminary Notice have to be filed for each project?

Unless labor or material are being furnished under more than one original contract, only one Preliminary Notice needs to be filed8. However, to avoid confusion and speed payment, it is wise to file a Preliminary Notice for each contractor to whom you work for.

8   UTAH CODE ANN. § 38-1-31(1)(a)(ii)


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