When you file and send a “Notice of Right to Lien” document in Oregon, it protects all parties from financial losses associated with a construction project. In this post, the team at Northwest Lien walks you through the definition of an Oregon Notice of Right to Lien, explains who needs to file, and provides the steps involved in filing an intent to lien form.
This file is known as a Notice of Right to Lien in Oregon, but goes by other names depending on the state and person you’re talking to. For example, it’s known as a preliminary notice in Washington — just one state away. The phrase is also often used synonymously with “Notice of Intent,” though there are technically differences between the two in practice. One of the toughest aspects of lien law is all of the terminology!
An Oregon Notice of Right to Lien is a legal document containing industry-specific language and detailed information about the scope of a construction project and the contractors involved with it. Filing one within Oregon lien deadlines ensures all eligible subcontractors, suppliers, or laborers maintain their right to file a lien if they are not paid for the work they do on a project.
Oregon state law requires all parties who do not work with a property owner directly — i.e., anyone other than the original contractor — to file a Notice of Right to Lien. By law, material suppliers and subcontractors who do not provide labor or supplies to the property owner directly must complete and file a lien using an Intent to Lien letter template containing information specific to Oregon.
As we mentioned before, terminology is key here; you may see the Intent to Lien form described in several other ways, including Oregon preliminary notice and construction preliminary notice. Oregon requires a Notice of Right to Lien to be filed within 8 days of first furnishing for the notice to be considered valid (and lien rights legally maintained). You should know that the date you file the lien can have a significant impact on any protection you receive if you need to file a mechanic’s lien at some point during the duration of the construction project.
The first step in filing an Oregon Notice of Right to Lien is to complete the form in its entirety. You will need to provide the following information:
Once you have supplied all required information, go over the Notice of Right to Lien form again to ensure that it’s complete and accurate. The document is not valid unless it contains correct information, your signature, and the current date.
The next step is to deliver your Oregon Notice of Right to Lien to the property owner. Oregon law states that the party filing a Right to Lien / Intent to Lien form must send it certified mail or personal delivery with a return receipt. This shows proof of delivery so one party cannot come back later and say they never received the form. You can also choose to hand the signed and completed Oregon Notice of Right to Lien form to the property owner. Be sure to choose an acknowledgment of receipt if you choose this option.
State law considers an Oregon Construction Pre-Lien Notice served on the day the property owner receives it if you delivered it in person. For mail service with return receipt, the service date is the same as the date of mailing. We highly recommend keeping a copy of all postal receipts, mailing certificates, and lien documents as a backup in case anyone questions the transaction in the future.
You must present a Notice of Right to Lien document to the other party during the first week after work on the project began, but the best way to protect your future lien rights is to file the Oregon Notice of Right to Lien the very first day you begin work on a property. You will be ready to act quickly if you collect the information required before the project starts. This makes it easy to transfer the data to a Right to Lien template and file it as soon as possible.
It is important not to confuse the notice with the Oregon mechanic’s lien itself. While the former notifies a property owner of your work on a project, the latter offers legal and financial protection if the property owner does not provide the amount of compensation you expected in a timely manner. Another way to think of it is the first form is a notification while the second form describes a specific action.
If you file many notices and liens, you owe it to yourself to work with Northwest Lien. Trust us, we understand how much work it is. Having served the construction community in Washington and Oregon for over 10 years, we are proud to say that we collected more than $2 million dollars on behalf of our clients just last year alone. We complete the filing process electronically in 48 hours or less, saving you time and money in the process — and, more importantly, ensuring your lien rights are maintained.
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