California 20 Day Preliminary Notices that are outdated

The California 20 day Preliminary Notices law changed back in January 2004, when a new requirement was enacted that called for some additional text to be added to the "Notice to Property Owner" section of the form.

Then it changed again in July 2012 requiring even more extensive changes (and new forms) in the process.

(Preliminary Notice forms and Notice to Owner forms
for all states)

Outdated California 20-Day Preliminary Notice forms can cost you your lien rights!

Here's a copy and paste from many of the civil codes that now govern the California Preliminary Notice form (used to be called the California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form)

8034. (a) For the purposes of Title 2 (commencing with Section 8160), "preliminary notice" means the notice provided for in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8200) of Title 2. (b) For the purposes of Title 3 (commencing with Section 9000), "preliminary notice" means the notice provided for in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 9300) of Title 3.

8100. Notice under this part shall be in writing. Writing includes printing and typewriting.

8102. (a) Notice under this part shall, in addition to any other information required by statute for that type of notice, include all of the following information to the extent known to the person giving the notice: (1) The name and address of the owner or reputed owner. (2) The name and address of the direct contractor. (3) The name and address of the construction lender, if any. (4) A description of the site sufficient for identification, including the street address of the site, if any. If a sufficient legal description of the site is given, the effectiveness of the notice is not affected by the fact that the street address is erroneous or is omitted. (5) The name, address, and relationship to the parties of the person giving the notice. (6) If the person giving the notice is a claimant: (A) A general statement of the work provided. (B) The name of the person to or for whom the work is provided. (C) A statement or estimate of the claimant's demand, if any, after deducting all just credits and offsets. (b) Notice is not invalid by reason of any variance from the requirements of this section if the notice is sufficient to substantially inform the person given notice of the information required by this section and other information required in the notice.

8104. (a) A direct contractor or subcontractor on a work of improvement governed by this part that employs a laborer and fails to pay the full compensation due the laborer, including any employer payments described in Section 1773.1 of the Labor Code and implementing regulations, shall not later than the date the compensation became delinquent, give the laborer, the laborer's bargaining representative, if any, the construction lender or reputed construction lender, if any, and the owner or reputed owner, notice that includes all of the following information, in addition to the information required by Section 8102: (1) The name and address of the laborer, and of any person or entity described in subdivision (b) of Section 8024 to which employer payments are due. (2) The total number of straight time and overtime hours worked by the laborer on each job. (3) The amount then past due and owing. (b) Failure to give the notice required by subdivision (a) constitutes grounds for disciplinary action under the Contractors' State License Law, Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.

8106. Except as otherwise provided by statute, notice under this part shall be given by any of the following means: (a) Personal delivery. (b) Mail in the manner provided in Section 8110. (c) Leaving the notice and mailing a copy in the manner provided in Section 415.20 of the Code of Civil Procedure for service of summons and complaint in a civil action.

8108. Except as otherwise provided by this part, notice under this part shall be given to the person to be notified at the person's residence, the person's place of business, or at any of the following addresses: (a) If the person to be notified is an owner other than a public entity, the owner's address shown on the direct contract, the building permit, or a construction trust deed. (b) If the person to be notified is a public entity, the office of the public entity or another address specified by the public entity in the contract or elsewhere for service of notices, papers, and other documents. (c) If the person to be notified is a construction lender, the construction lender's address shown on the construction loan agreement or construction trust deed. (d) If the person to be notified is a direct contractor or a subcontractor, the contractor's address shown on the building permit, on the contractor's contract, or on the records of the Contractors' State License Board. (e) If the person to be notified is a claimant, the claimant's address shown on the claimant's contract, preliminary notice, claim of lien, stop payment notice, or claim against a payment bond, or on the records of the Contractors' State License Board. (f) If the person to be notified is a surety on a bond, the surety' s address shown on the bond for service of notices, papers, and other documents, or on the records of the Department of Insurance.

8110. Except as otherwise provided by this part, notice by mail under this part shall be given by registered or certified mail, express mail, or overnight delivery by an express service carrier.

8114. A notice required by this part to be posted shall be displayed in a conspicuous location at the site.

8116. Notice under this part is complete and deemed to have been given at the following times: (a) If given by personal delivery, when delivered. (b) If given by mail, when deposited in the mail or with an express service carrier in the manner provided in Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure. (c) If given by leaving the notice and mailing a copy in the manner provided in Section 415.20 of the Code of Civil Procedure for service of summons in a civil action, five days after mailing. (d) If given by posting, when displayed. (e) If given by recording, when recorded in the office of the county recorder.

8118. (a) Proof that notice was given to a person in the manner required by this part shall be made by a proof of notice declaration that states all of the following: (1) The type or description of the notice given. (2) The date, place, and manner of notice, and facts showing that notice was given in the manner required by statute. (3) The name and address of the person to which notice was given, and, if appropriate, the title or capacity in which the person was given notice. (b) If the notice is given by mail, the declaration shall be accompanied by one of the following: (1) Documentation provided by the United States Postal Service showing that payment was made to mail the notice using registered or certified mail, or express mail. (2) Documentation provided by an express service carrier showing that payment was made to send the notice using an overnight delivery service. (3) A return receipt, delivery confirmation, signature confirmation, tracking record, or other proof of delivery or attempted delivery provided by the United States Postal Service, or a photocopy of the record of delivery and receipt maintained by the United States Postal Service, showing the date of delivery and to whom delivered, or in the event of nondelivery, by the returned envelope itself. (4) A tracking record or other documentation provided by an express service carrier showing delivery or attempted delivery of the notice.

8200. (a) Except as otherwise provided by statute, before recording a lien claim, giving a stop payment notice, or asserting a claim against a payment bond, a claimant shall give preliminary notice to the following persons: (1) The owner or reputed owner. (2) The direct contractor or reputed direct contractor to which the claimant provides work, either directly or through one or more subcontractors. (3) The construction lender or reputed construction lender, if any. (b) The notice shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (c) Compliance with this section is a necessary prerequisite to the validity of a lien claim or stop payment notice under this title. (d) Compliance with this section or with Section 8612 is a necessary prerequisite to the validity of a claim against a payment bond under this title. (e) Notwithstanding the foregoing subdivisions: (1) A laborer is not required to give preliminary notice. (2) A claimant with a direct contractual relationship with an owner or reputed owner is required to give preliminary notice only to the construction lender or reputed construction lender, if any.

8202. (a) The preliminary notice shall comply with the requirements of Section 8102, and shall also include: (1) A general description of the work to be provided. (2) An estimate of the total price of the work provided and to be provided. (3) The following statement in boldface type:

NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNER EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE PAID YOUR CONTRACTOR IN FULL, if the person or firm that has given you this notice is not paid in full for labor, service, equipment, or material provided or to be provided to your construction project, a lien may be placed on your property. Foreclosure of the lien may lead to loss of all or part of your property. You may wish to protect yourself against this by (1) requiring your contractor to provide a signed release by the person or firm that has given you this notice before making payment to your contractor, or (2) any other method that is appropriate under the circumstances. This notice is required by law to be served by the undersigned as a statement of your legal rights. This notice is not intended to reflect upon the financial condition of the contractor or the person employed by you on the construction project. If you record a notice of cessation or completion of your construction project, you must within 10 days after recording, send a copy of the notice of completion to your contractor and the person or firm that has given you this notice. The notice must be sent by registered or certified mail. Failure to send the notice will extend the deadline to record a claim of lien. You are not required to send the notice if you are a residential homeowner of a dwelling containing four or fewer units.

(b) If preliminary notice is given by a subcontractor that has not paid all compensation due to a laborer, the notice shall include the name and address of the laborer and any person or entity described in subdivision (b) of Section 8024 to which payments are due. (c) If an invoice for material or certified payroll contains the information required by this section and Section 8102, a copy of the invoice or payroll, given in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1, is sufficient.

8204. (a) A preliminary notice shall be given not later than 20 days after the claimant has first furnished work on the work of improvement. If work has been provided by a claimant who did not give a preliminary notice, that claimant shall not be precluded from giving a preliminary notice at any time thereafter. The claimant shall, however, be entitled to record a lien, give a stop payment notice, and assert a claim against a payment bond only for work performed within 20 days prior to the service of the preliminary notice, and at any time thereafter. (b) A design professional who has furnished services for the design of the work of improvement and who gives a preliminary notice not later than 20 days after the work of improvement has commenced shall be deemed to have complied with Section 8200 with respect to the design services furnished, or to be furnished.

8206. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a claimant need give only one preliminary notice to each person to which notice must be given under this chapter with respect to all work provided by the claimant for a work of improvement. (b) If a claimant provides work pursuant to contracts with more than one subcontractor, the claimant shall give a separate preliminary notice with respect to work provided pursuant to each contract. (c) A preliminary notice that contains a general description of work provided by the claimant through the date of the notice also covers work provided by the claimant after the date of the notice whether or not they are within the scope of the general description contained in the notice.

8208. A direct contractor shall make available to any person seeking to give preliminary notice the following information: (a) The name and address of the owner. (b) The name and address of the construction lender, if any.

8210. If one or more construction loans are obtained after commencement of a work of improvement, the owner shall give notice of the name and address of the construction lender or lenders to each person that has given the owner preliminary notice.

8212. An agreement made or entered into by an owner whereby the owner agrees to waive the rights conferred on the owner by this chapter is void and unenforceable.

8214. (a) Each person who has served a preliminary notice may file the preliminary notice with the county recorder. A preliminary notice filed pursuant to this section shall comply with the requirements of Section 8102. (b) Upon the acceptance for recording of a notice of completion or notice of cessation the county recorder shall mail to those persons who have filed a preliminary notice, notification that a notice of completion or notice of cessation has been recorded on the property, and shall affix the date that the notice of completion or notice of cessation was recorded with the county recorder. The notification given by the county recorder under this section is not governed by the requirements of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8100) of Title 1. (c) The failure of the county recorder to mail the notification to the person who filed a preliminary notice, or the failure of those persons to receive the notification or to receive complete notification, shall not affect the period within which a claim of lien is required to be recorded. However, the county recorder shall make a good faith effort to mail notification to those persons who have filed the preliminary notice under this section and to do so within five days after the recording of a notice of completion or notice of cessation. (d) The county recorder may cause to be destroyed all documents filed pursuant to this section, two years after the date of filing. (e) The preliminary notice that a person may file pursuant to this section is for the limited purpose of facilitating the mailing of notice by the county recorder of recorded notices of completion and notices of cessation. The notice that is filed is not a recordable document and shall not be entered into those official records of the county which by law impart constructive notice. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the index maintained by the recorder of filed preliminary notices shall be separate and distinct from those indexes maintained by the county recorder of those official records of the county which by law impart constructive notice. The filing of a preliminary notice with the county recorder does not give rise to any actual or constructive notice with respect to any party of the existence or contents of a filed preliminary notice nor to any duty of inquiry on the part of any party as to the existence or contents of that notice.

8216. If the contract of any subcontractor on a particular work of improvement provides for payment to the subcontractor of more than four hundred dollars ($400), the failure of that subcontractor, licensed under the Contractors' State License Law (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code), to give the notice provided for in this chapter, constitutes grounds for disciplinary action under the Contractors' State License Law.

Is the preliminary notice form that you're using up-to-date?

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California 20 Day Preliminary Notice form

Preliminary Notice forms & Notice to Owner forms
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