Before you provide labor or materials to a construction project in Georgia, make sure you are fully aware of your Mechanics Lien Rights and your legal requirements as far as filing a Mechanics Lien is concerned. Just as in any other state, filing a Mechanics Lien in Georgia requires you to have specific knowledge of the Georgia Lien Law and its provisions. A simple error in your Preliminary Notice, Notice to Contractor, or Mechanics Lien will invalidate your claim, may cause you to forfeit your Lien Rights, resulting in a total loss of the Accounts Receivable you are trying to secure. In order to help with your understanding of the Georgia Lien Law and prepare you for filing your claim, we’ve provided a list of the most common questions asked about filing a Georgia Preliminary Notice, Notice to Contractor (of Notice to Subcontractor), and Mechanics Lien.
- Who can file a Georgia Mechanics Lien? Like other states, Georgia is very specific about who may and who may not file a Mechanics Lien. Contractors, subcontractors, materialmen to subcontractors and contractors, contractors/subcontractors/materialmen furnishing material to subcontractors, laborers, registered architects, registered professional engineers, registered surveyors, mechanics of all sorts who have taken no personal security for the work performed or materials furnished, machinists/manufacturers of machinery, and equipment renters. NOTE: Unlicensed parties who are required to be licensed in the state of Georgia (according to state law) are not entitled to Mechanics Lien protection.
- Am I required to file a Preliminary Notice in Georgia? The filing of a Preliminary Notice is not a common practice in the state of Georgia. You are only required to file a Preliminary Notice if the Property Owner files a Notice of Commencement at the start of the construction project and you are not in direct contract with the Property Owner. Businesses may secure their Georgia Mechanics Lien Rights, however, by filing a Notice to Contractor (or Notice to Subcontractor).
- If I’m not required to file a Preliminary Notice, how do I protect my Lien Rights? In Georgia, those conducting business in the construction industry may protect their Mechanics Lien Rights by Serving a Notice to Contractor or Notice to Subcontractor. Subcontractors and suppliers who do not have direct contact with the General Contractor are required to provide the Property Owner and General Contractor with a Notice to Contractor if a Notice of Commencement has been recorded and posted at a job site. If you provide work or supply materials for a subcontractor, you are also required to serve a Notice to Subcontractor.The Notice to Contractor or Notice to Subcontractors must be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory delivery (such as UPS or Fed Ex overnight service) to the Property Owner and General Contractor at the addresses detailed in the Notice of Commencement.
- When is the deadline to file a Georgia Mechanics Lien? According to Georgia Lien Law, claimants must file and serve their Mechanics Lien within 90 days of the date they last supplied materials and labor on the project.
- Do I need to provide a copy of the Mechanics Lien to the Property Owner? Yes. Georgia Lien Law requires the lien claimant to serve a copy of the Mechanics Lien upon the Legal Property Owner. This can be served through certified or registered mail, or by overnight delivery (such as FedEx). If for some reason you are unable to locate a valid address for the Property Owner after performing your due diligence, you may serve the Mechanics Lien on the prime contractor as the owner’s agent. However, you must be able to substantiate that you were unable to find the Property Owner (and be able to provide documented evidence of the processes you used to locate the property owner.) prior to serving the prime contractor.The filing and serving of this notice is essential. It must be served within 2 days of the filing of the Mechanics Lien.
- Am I required to provide a Legal Property Description in my Georgia Mechanics Lien? No. While it is preferred, it is not required in the state of Georgia. According to Georgia Lien Law, you need only to describe the Property with sufficient information in which to be identified. However, we recommend that you be as specific and formal as possible with the description of the property in order to ensure your Lien Rights. Should the Legal Description of the property be available, please include it along with any other address information you have verified.
- How long will my Georgia Mechanics Lien remain in effective? All lien claimants must initiate the enforcement of the Mechanics Lien within 1 year from the date on which the lien was originally filed. Failure to adhere to this deadline will result in the invalidation and expiration of your lien claim.
These are just a few of the key provisions included in Georgia’s Mechanics Lien Law. For a more comprehensive understanding of how you may further secure your Mechanics Lien Rights, hire a Preliminary Notice and Mechanics Lien Service to prepare and serve your Georgia Preliminary Notice and Mechanics Lien. Using a professional service will ensure that the proper research is done so you don’t run the risk of forfeiting your Lien Rights due to any misinformation or unplanned delays.
CRM Lien Services will thoroughly research and verify all of the information included in your Preliminary Notice and Mechanics Lien so your Lien Rights are completely protected. At CRM, we stay current with the changes to the Georgia Lien Laws so your notices are prepared according to the most current Georgia Lien Law statutes.
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