Legal Blog

New Pennsylvania Construction Notices Directory Falls Short


In a previous blog entry, we reviewed recent amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanic’s Lien law that created an internet-based Pennsylvania State Construction Notice Directory, which gave owners of projects that are valued over $1.5 million dollars the option to register the project. Once a project is registered, additional conditions precedent to the filing of a lien (by first and second tier contractors) are triggered, including that subcontractors must file a “Notice of Furnishing” within 45 days of commencing work on the project. Failure to file a “Notice of Furnishing” on a registered project constitutes a forfeiture of lien rights by the would-be claimant.

The Pennsylvania State Construction Notice Directory is maintained and operated by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services and purports to contain all registered projects in a searchable directory that subcontractors can review to determine whether they need to file a notice of furnishing.  Yet, currently, the Pennsylvania State Construction Notice Directory lists just 100 projects dating back to January 2018. While there are many more projects, most are listed but may have been “aged out” of the Directory’s listings. The older projects which are still under construction will still require the filing of a “Notice of Furnishing” but will no longer appear as a listed project.

So what if you’re trying to find an older project? The fix is to view a listing of all projects, rather than the just the most recent 100 projects. In order to view all projects, a user must enter the number “0” (sans quotations) into the search bar and click on the magnifying glass icon. Doing so reveals all projects dating back to the beginning of the registry in December 2016 (as of the date of this blog entry, there have been an additional 154 projects). Unfortunately, instructions for this extra step are not located on the Pennsylvania State Construction Notice Directory or otherwise provided to registered users.

While unlisted projects that have aged out of the default listing can still be located by searching with specific information, this also does require the user to have accurate input information. Therefore, proper due diligence requires reviewing listed projects to ensure the project at hand is not listed before a potential claimant and can determine that no “Notice of Furnishing” is required.

It is critical that a subcontractor working on a project that has an overall value of $1.5 million more fully understands the requirements it must take on the front end of the project to preserve lien rights on the back end.

 

 

 

For more information on compliance with the most recent amendments to the Pennsylvania’s Mechanic’s Lien Law, contact the author, Karin Corbett, Esquire at kcorbett@offitkurman.com or 484-531-1702.

For more construction law articles, please visit the OnKonstruction Blog.

ABOUT KARIN CORBETT

kcorbett@offitkurman.com | 484.531.1702

Karin Corbett is a business attorney and litigator who effectively prevents, resolves and litigates legal disputes for businesses and individuals alike in a variety of industries; but her focus is primarily in the construction & real estate and equine industries.

As a construction and real estate attorney, Ms. Corbett negotiates contracts, analyzes and advises clients on all types of business matters, litigates contract claims.

 

 

 

 

 

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