Architects, engineers and others may provide services that are vital to a construction project.

Whether residential, commercial, industrial, or public works, the professional is entitled to secure payment for the services provided.

However, those services are often “invisible” to anyone monitoring the construction project.

Therefore, Washington law (RCW 60.04) requires that professionals file a pre-lien notice. The statutory mandate is quoted here:
Every potential lien claimant providing professional services where no improvement as defined in RCW 60.04.011(5) (a) or (b) has been commenced, and the professional services provided are not visible from an inspection of the real property may record in the real property records of the county where the property is located a notice which shall contain the professional service provider’s name, address, telephone number, legal description of the property, the owner or reputed owner’s name, and the general nature of the professional services provided. If such notice is not recorded, the lien claimed shall be subordinate to the interest of any subsequent mortgagee and invalid as to the interest of any subsequent purchaser if the mortgagee or purchaser acts in good faith and for a valuable consideration acquires an interest in the property prior to the commencement of an improvement as defined in RCW 60.04.011(5) (a) or (b) without notice of the professional services being provided.

This is a more burdensome requirement than notices required of material suppliers and others, who simply need to mail their pre-lien notices to the owner and general contractor.

If you have questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us.