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California Preliminary Notice Public Works
THIS IS NOTICE IS GIVEN PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE §§ 8034(b), 8102, 8106-8118, 9300 et seq
Payments and Construction Lien Information.
When payment is not made in advance of a single shipment order, when there are multiple shipments or at our option we require the information about the property Owner, Contractor and the Lender. Consumers who are not engaged in having construction work done on their property may be surprised at needing to provide this information but it is actually critical for managing the payment process for construction work on the property. Additionally it is essential for making sure that all contractors, vendors and other entities are paid in full so their are no undesirable surprises after the work is completed on the property.

Preliminary Notices have no effect on an individual or company credit. Once mailed out the documents serve as the legal notice to the property owner(s) that construction activity is taking place on their property.

We need you to fill out and send back or E-mail us the information needed to complete
Owner
Contractor
Lender, if any

These are links to some PDF forms that can be filled out online.

I like this one since it has a separate proof of service
California Preliminary Notice - SacLaw

This is the basic information within a Preliminary Notice

NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNER
EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE PAID YOUR CONTRACTOR IN FULL, if the person or firm that has
given you this notice is not paid in full for labor, service, equipment, or material provided or to
be provided to your construction project, a lien may be placed on your property. Foreclosure of
the lien may lead to loss of all or part of your property. You may wish to protect yourself against
this by (1) requiring your contractor to provide a signed release by the person or firm that has
given you this notice before making payment to your contractor, or (2) any other method that is
appropriate under the circumstances.
This notice is required by law to be served by the undersigned as a statement of your legal
rights. This notice is not intended to reflect upon the financial condition of the contractor or the
person employed by you on the construction project.
If you record a notice of cessation or completion of your construction project, you must within
10 days after recording, send a copy of the notice of completion to your contractor and the
person or firm that has given you this notice. The notice must be sent by registered or certified
mail. Failure to send the notice will extend the deadline to record a claim of lien. You are not
required to send the notice if you are a residential homeowner of a dwelling containing four or
fewer units.

What protections does a property owner have against improper liens? There are many and we are not going to give legal advice but in California the basic law is below. In short vendors and contractors and vendors cannot just make up invoice values from thin air and post liens:

Amount of the Lien
The liens under the California Mechanic’s and Construction Lien Laws are direct liens and are limited to the lesser of (a) the reasonable value of the labor, services, equipment, or materials furnished OR (b) for the price agreed upon between the claimant and the party with whom he or she contracted. California Civil Code § 3123

A good source of basic California Lien Law information
California Preliminary Notice Public Works