(State & Local Public Works)
For the full text of Chapter 2253 of the Texas Government Code, please click here.
In Texas, the Government Code requires contractors to file two types of bonds on public improvement contracts for the construction, alteration, or improvement of all public projects in excess of $25,000.00. The contractor must furnish a payment bond in the amount of the contract for the protection of all claimants supplying labor or materials to the project, and a performance bond in the amount of the contract to protect the government from unfinished work.
Notice periods differ for subcontractors, depending on whether or not they have a direct contract with the prime contractor. If you have a direct contract with the prime contractor, you must send notice of your unpaid claim to the last known business or residential address of the prime contractor and to the surety or sureties. The notices of the unpaid claim must be sent on or before the 15th day of the third month following each month in which labor was performed or material was delivered.
If you do not have a direct contractual relationship with the prime contractor, you must send the notices of the unpaid claim on or before the 15th day of the second month following each month in which labor was performed or material was delivered. The notices must be sent each month that you furnish labor or materials, not just the last month. In addition, you must give your retainage agreement notices on or before the 15th day of the second month following the beginning of your work or when materials were furnished.
The Government Code provides specific requirements for the content of a notice a claimant must send to the prime contractor and surety in order to collect the unpaid claim. The notice must describe the contractual arrangement, give a description of the labor or materials furnished, state the approximate dates of delivery or performance, indicate the amount due, and be accompanied by a sworn statement that the amount claimed is just and correct and that all just and lawful offsets, payments, and credits have been allowed. If the claim is based upon a written agreement, a copy of the agreement must be sent with the notice.
The notice requirements can be complex. The Texas Legislature has granted certain classes of suppliers and subcontractors who furnish labor or materials additional financial protection. But with this protection comes strict requirements and safeguards to provide the entities posting the bond early and proper notice of claims. It is not our intent to require anyone to hire an attorney to make a claim against SureTec. We cannot, however, offer legal advice. If you are unsure of your rights or how to properly file a claim, you may wish to seek competent legal counsel.
A booklet published by the Texas Building Branch, Associated General Contractors, contains the text of the Government Code and helpful forms for filing claims. For more information on the AGC Bonds & Liens Booklet, please click here.