Welcome to Utah, the Beehive State! (Seriously, you can look it up). Home to five (stunningly beautiful) national parks, the 2002 Winter Olympics, and the Utah State Construction Registry (SCR).
Unlike every other state, Utah tracks preliminary notices entirely through their online registry, the just-mentioned ‘SCR.’ To find out what that means for Utah construction companies, please read on.
Why Send a Utah Preliminary Notice?
If you’ve worked construction in Utah, you’re probably already aware that in order to secure your lien rights, a preliminary notice must be filed at the start of construction or supply work in order to protect your lien rights and stay informed about who else is working on the same job. The deadline to file a preliminary notice through the SCR is within 20 days of beginning work or supplying materials.
Who Must Send a Utah Preliminary Notice?
All parties providing pre-construction services must file a Notice of Retention, and lien and bond rights are lost if the notice is not filed. (Pre-construction services include the design and planning of improvements.)
Additionally, all parties are required to send a preliminary notice in order to maintain a valid lien claim.
How Do I Send a Preliminary Notice?
A good place to start is finding out the parcel number and county where the project is taking place. Some counties have online search tools you can use to find the parcel number, while in other counties you’ll need to track down that information yourself by calling county recorders, clerks of court, or other governmental resources that may be available. When you’re searching, don’t forget that the property address listed with the county may be different than the common address.
Once you have the parcel number, you can find out if anyone else has already filed a document for the same project on the same property. If you’re the general contractor on a job, you may be the first party to be filing a document, and if you’re a subcontractor or supplier, you’ll be able to link your preliminary notice to a document the general contractor has already filed on the project. Whether you’re filing a new document or linking to a previous one, you’ll want to verify the owner of the property, the general contractor on the project, and property details such as zip code, city, and legal metes and bounds.
A word of warning: Don’t rely solely on the information already filed on a past document as it may be out of date or inaccurate. Protecting your lien rights is worth the extra time it takes to verify your project info, so be sure to do a good job researching the project information on your job.
Once you’ve filled out all the requested fields, you can choose to add your email address so you’ll be notified about any future Preliminary Notices or Notices of Completion that are filed on the project. This is useful because once a Notice of Completion is filed, the clock starts ticking on the deadline to file any lien claims.
When Do I Send a Utah Preliminary Notice?
A Utah Notice of Retention must be filed no later than 20 days after the party commences pre-construction services. It may be filed before work begins.
A Utah preliminary notice must be filed within 20 days from the date the claimant first furnished labor and/or materials to the project. Filing preliminary notice late is not necessarily fatal to a lien claim. However, if a preliminary notice is filed late, the party sending notice may not claim a lien for any work done prior to 5 days after the date on which notice is filed. Thus, if the preliminary notice was filed on June 5, (and that date was more than 20 days after the claimant’s first furnishing) that claimant only has lien rights for work performed after June 10.
Keep in mind:
- To be effective, a preliminary notice must be filed no more than 10 days after a Notice of Completion is filed.
- Best practice is to send preliminary notice as soon as you commence work.