In October of 2014, the Pennsylvania Mechanics Lien Law was changed by amendment. One of the more critical changes to the lien law mandated by this amendment is the creation of an internet based Pennsylvania State Construction Notice Directory. This law became effective as of December 31, 2016. Beginning in 2017, on all construction projects over one and a half million dollars ($1,500,000), including both new construction as well as alterations and repairs, an owner will have the option to make the project a “Searchable Project” by filing a “Notice of Commencement” on the Notice Directory. This Notice of Commencement must be filed before work begins. If a Notice of Commencement is filed on project, any subcontractor attempting to preserve their lien rights on the project is required to file a Notice of Furnishing within 45 days of first performing work on the project. Any subcontractor who fails to file this Notice of Furnishing within those 45 days forfeits their lien rights. The filing of a Notice of Furnishing does not affect the subcontractor’s requirement to file the actual lien and comply with the other requirements in the Mechanics Lien Law. Also, general contractors are not required to file a Notice of Furnishing to preserve their lien rights.
Those most affected by these changes will be owners and subcontractors on projects exceeding one and a half million dollars. But subcontractors beware, failure to comply with these new notice requirements will have costly consequences.
For additional information including guidance on registering with the Notice Director and preparation of the Notice of Furnishing, please contact the C&W Construction Group.