Senior Scam Stopper & Mechanics Lien Statements and Notification

When contractors must be on-the-job you can count on the Capitol Connection to keep you up on the latest meeting of the California Contractor’s State License Board. We learned a great deal of interest to contractors directly related to getting paid…

Over the years we’ve received many questions regarding the state’s Mechanics Lien laws.  As discussed at the Contractor Board’s recent meeting in Sacramento, a number of legal revisions took place on July 1, 2012, which mainly changed the wording and format of the Mechanics Lien notices. Because of these changes, the CSLB has updated release forms to reflect the new language and made them available on their website (www.cslb.ca.gov).

Contractors can use these documents to protect their lien rights on construction projects.   Among the forms included by the CSLB are: the Notice to Property Owner statement, required as part of the Preliminary Notice (formally known as the 20-day Preliminary Notice); Notice of Mechanics Lien; and the Conditional and Unconditional Release of Progress and Final Payments.

As most subcontractors and suppliers know, it is important to use the proper forms in order to protect your lien rights.  As a refresher, the CSLB has summarized some of the requirements including that The Preliminary Notice should be delivered to the homeowner in person or by certified, registered, or express mail, or overnight delivery, with a receipt of the mailing as proof.  “Notice can be given at any time before work starts or products are delivered, and up to 20 days after. If notice is given more than 20 days after work or delivery, your lien rights only apply to the work or products provided 20 days before the notice was given, and anytime thereafter.”

The Notice of Mechanics Lien must accompany the lien claim and be sent via certified, registered, or First Class mail (proof of mailing is required). As indicated in a CSLB Industry Bulletin, “Failure to send the properly worded Notice with the lien claim could result in the lien being unenforceable.”

If you have any specific questions regarding lien laws, it would be advisable to discuss this with your legal counsel.

Also highlighted at the recent CSLB meeting was the Senior Scam Stoppers program aimed at providing information about construction-related scams and how seniors can protect themselves when hiring a contractor.  The CSLB offers these seminars several times a month featuring expert speakers from many local, state, and federal agencies.

In line with the Senior Scam Stopper program, the CSLB has also launched the “Consumer Scam Stopper” program.  This new program provides valuable information to consumers of all ages and audiences to help them make informed choices related to construction and home improvement, and also provides information about current scams in the local region.

Check out the CSLB’s website or call Capitol Services for more information regarding the dates and locations of these upcoming seminars.

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