Notices of Commencement: Top 7 Questions Answered

7 of Your Notices of Commencement Questions Answered

What is a Notice of Commencement? Do all states have Notices of Commencement? Why are these documents important? In today’s post we’ll review 7 of your Notice of Commencement questions.

What Is a Notice of Commencement?

A Notice of Commencement is a notice typically recorded by the owner of a construction project, in the county where the project is located, prior to materials or services being provided to the project.  The information provided in the notice of commencement assists in the preparation and service of the preliminary notice.

What Information Is Included within Notices of Commencement?

The Notice of Commencement generally provides the property description, the name and address of the owner, the name and address of the prime contractor, any parties that need to be served with a preliminary notice (i.e., designee), and surety information if the project is bonded.

Do All States Have Notices of Commencement?

No, not all states have a Notice of Commencement. In the states of Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and South Carolina, Notices of Commencement may be issued on public or private projects. In the states of Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota, Notices of Commencement may be issued on private projects, and in the state of Utah, a Notice of Commencement may be issued on public projects.

The requirements for the Notice of Commencement vary by state, and the recording of the document sometimes triggers the requirement for those working on the project to serve a preliminary notice.

How Can I Find Notices of Commencement?

You can contact parties within the ladder of supply, review county records (if document is recorded), search state specific registries or directories, search LienFinder and/or send a formal request when you serve your preliminary notice.

As a best practice, request a copy of the Notice of Commencement as soon as possible. A copy of the Notice of Commencement is to be made available upon request or a copy may be posted at the jobsite.

Can a Project Have More than One Notice of Commencement?

Yes, it is quite possible for a project to have multiple notices and even amended notices. For example, some projects work in phases, so a Notice of Commencement may be issued for each phase of the construction.  Or, there may be different general contractors for different portions of the project, in which case there would be multiple notices.

Can Notices of Commencement Be Terminated?

Yes, it’s possible. For example, in the state of Florida, a Notice of Termination of Notice of Commencement can be filed. The Notice of Termination of Notice of Commencement is a recorded affidavit that terminates/extinguishes an existing Notice of Commencement.

Any Tips on Traps?

You should always look at the date the notice was recorded to ensure it matches up to the time frame the project began, confirm it isn’t expired, and make sure it is for the scope of work you are performing. You should also confirm whether an amended Notice of Commencement has been recorded.  Lastly, if the Notice of Commencement indicates the project is bonded, save yourself the struggle & request a copy of the payment bond right away – it’s much easier to get copies at the beginning of a project.

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