New Notice and Filing Requirements Under Iowa Mechanic’s Lien Law
Iowa Governor Branstad approved House File 675 on April 27, 2012, making significant changes to Iowa’s Mechanic Lien Laws. Effective January 1, 2013, these amendments make important changes to the lien processes and rights relating to labor performed and materials furnished on residential property as part of a construction or remodel project. House File 675 requires filing of a “Notice of Commencement of Work” on a new centralized online filing system, the “State Construction Registry” (the “Registry”), within ten days of commencing work to preserve the right to subsequently assert a mechanic’s lien. Previously, filing occurred with the clerks of court in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Under the new requirements, the Iowa Secretary of State administers the Registry website/database. House File 675 also revises preliminary notice requirements regarding the content of the notice and how notice must be given. Revisions provide that preliminary notices must include information similar to what is required in the Notice of Commencement of Work, filing through the Registry and delivery to the owner by personal service. Filing of the Notice of Commencement must occur before one can file a preliminary notice.