Q: I've hired a contractor to build a commercial building on my property. If I timely pay my contractor, can I ignore the preliminary twenty day notices I get from the subcontractors and material suppliers working on the project?
A: Absolutely not. If you pay the contractor but he doesn't pay the subcontractors and suppliers, the lien law may require you to pay twice. The preliminary notice informs you about who is working on your property and thus may have lien rights against the property, so you can protect yourself by taking steps to assure payment to these potential lien claimants. Additionally under the statutue you are required to correct errors in the notices you receive relating to: the property's legal description or street address, the name and address of the owner/reputed owner, the name and address of the original/reputed contractor, and the name and address of the construction lender/reputed lender. Failure to timely correct these errors bars you from raising them as defenses in subsequent lien claim.