A Notice of Commencement is a document that formally sets the beginning date of a project, or the date on which a supplier first provided materials or labor. It is filed and recorded in the corresponding local or state office in the county in which the project is located, and generally must be provided to other project participants and posted on the job site. Under Ohio Revised Code 1311.04, an owner of real property must serve a Notice of Commencement on any potential lien claimant.
Timing of a Notice of Commencement
A Commencement Notice is a notification to a Building Control Authority that a person intends to carry out either works or a Material Change of Use to which the Building Regulations apply. The notice must be given to the authority not more than 28 days and not less than 14 days before the commencement of works or the change of use. Once validated by the building control authority, work must commence on site within the 28 day period.
Prior to the performance of any labor or work or the furnishing of any materials for an improvement on real property which may give rise to a mechanics lien under sections 1311.01 to 1311.22 of the Revised Code, the owner, part owner, or lessee who contracts for the labor, work, or materials shall record, in the office of the county recorder for each county in which the real property to be improved is located, a notice of commencement.
When an NOC is Required
Notice of Commencements are required for the following:
1. The erection of a building 2. A material alteration of a building 3. An extension to a building 4. A material change of use of a building 5. Works in connection with the material alteration (excluding minor works) of a shop,
office or industrial building where a Fire Safety Certificate is not required
On the inverse, a Notice of Commencement is not required for works or a change of use which requires neither planning permission, nor a Fire Safety Certificate
Contents of the Notice of Commencement
The Notice of Commencement includes the names and addresses of all owners, part-owners, and lessees attached to the project, a description of the property, a description of the improvement, names and addresses of all contractors, and information for any lenders or sureties. In other words, an (NOC) includes:
Which parties are on the construction project, such as the project owner or the lending institution
The type of work the project requires
The legal description of the real property
In order to properly file, distribute, and enforce the notice of commencement:
File the notice of commencement with the county recorder's office in the county where the project is located;
Serve a copy of the notice to the original contractor(s) via certified or registered US mail, with return receipt requested;
Post the notice at the project site;
Amend the notice to add any additional original contractors during the project; and
Provide copies of the Notice of Commencement to any potential lien claimant who is requesting a copy.
Complete the notice correctly, using accurate information. If the notice of commencement contains incorrect details, that same owner, part owner, or lessee is liable for any loss of a claimant's lien rights, and any actual expenses incurred by the lien claimant in maintaining lien rights, including attorney's fees, if the loss and expenses incurred are a direct result of the lien claimant's reliance on the incorrect information. Ohio Rev. Code 1311.04(C). In addition, if a lien is eventually filed using the incorrect information provide in the notice, any lien claimant who has included the information in his or her lien affidavit by relying on incorrect information contained in the Notice of Commencement, is entitled to file an amended affidavit for a lien. 1311.04(C). Notices of Commencement expire after six years unless the notice or an amendment to the notice states otherwise. Ohio Rev. Code 1311.04(S)