Q.What is a Preliminary 20-Day Notice?
A.A preliminary 20-Day Notice is not a lien. The notice merely advises the property owner that a subcontractor or supplier is working on the property and that if the contractor doesn't pay the subcontractor, then the subcontractor might claim a lien against the property.
Basically the Preliminary 20-Day Notice is the red flag that should remind the property owner to: (1) pay the contractor and subcontractor with a joint check (a check made payable to the both of them for that segment of the work); and (2) demand that upon receipt of payment both the general and all subcontractors and suppliers must sign an unconditional release. By getting the signed release, the property owner knows the general contractor has paid the subcontractors and suppliers and the risk of a Mechanic's Lien is substantially reduced.