Voluntary Notices? Worth It!

We consider sending notices to be an undisputed industry best practice, and that by putting in the time on the front end of a project (by sending notices), you can save yourself and your company a significant amount of time, money, and headaches, if a payment issue were to arise on the project at some point later on.

Here are three reasons why you should be sending voluntary notices.

  1. The Property Owner May Not Know Who You Are

Construction projects are messy, complicated affairs. Since the general contractor typically is the only project participant with a direct relationship to the owner, that leaves most of the other parties on the project without a direct relationship to this pivotal project player – the party that controls all of the money! (See illustration, below.)

You should want to notify the owners of your participation on the job, because they’re the folks in charge of the money. They certainly don’t want a lien filed against them, so it is in their interest to make sure you get paid. However, they can only do so if you let them know who you are and what you did on the job with a friendly notice!

  1. You’ll Separate Your Company From the Pack

If you take that extra step and send notice, you will likely put yourself at the top of the list to get paid because your customer will know you’re on top of things. Sending a notice will help you differentiate yourself from the rest of your colleagues on the job and get paid first.

  1. Filing a Lien Is Expensive

Filing a mechanics lien requires much more time, energy and money than sending preliminary notices. In fact, filing a lien can be as much as twenty times more expensive than sending a notice, and if you need to enforce your lien, court costs and attorney’s fees can start to add up quickly. Aside from the monetary costs, liens can eat up precious time and ruin business relationships. If you send a voluntary notice, you’re much less likely to run into payment disputes and get to a point where you actually need to file a lien.

Bottom line: the point of all this effort is NOT to file more liens – the point is to get you paid! Filing a lien is a powerful tool, but why not proactively send a notice first? If you can get paid on time without being forced to file a lien to do it, then that’s a win-win. Again, the goal here is for you to get paid! That’s the most important thing.


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