A subcontractor claimant who has a contractual relationship with the general contractor is not required to provide a notice of claim to the general contractor or to the payment bond surety. A lower tier subcontractor or supplier who does not have a contractual relationship with the general contractor is required to provide written notice to the general contractor within sixty-five (65) days after last performing work or supplying labor or materials to the project. G.L. c. 149, § 29

Notice need not be sent to the owner or to the surety, but must be given to the general contractor. Notice may be deemed insufficient if given after the sixty-five (65) period has tolled or if it is given prior to the last date upon which labor was performed or material was supplied to the project. Carter Pile Driving, Inc. v. U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Co., 52 Mass. App. Ct. 1107, 1109 (Rule 1:28 decision).

Such notice must “stat[e] with substantial accuracy the amount claimed, the name of the party for whom such labor was performed or such labor, materials, equipment, appliances or transportation were furnished.” G.L. c. 149, § 29; see also, N-Tek Const. Services, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 89 Mass. App. Ct. 186, 192 (2016).  Such notice, however, may be made by a “brief letter” so long as it satisfies the other requirements under G.L. c. 149, § 29. Id.

Notice “shall be served by mailing the same by registered or certified mail postage prepaid in an envelope addressed to the contractor principal at any place at which the contractor principal maintains an office or conducts his business, or at the contractor principal’s residence, or in any manner in which civil process may be served.” G.L. c. 149, § 29; but see Cinder Production Corp. v. Schena Const. Co., Inc., 22 Mass. App. Ct. 927, 928 (1986) (holding that the G.L. c. 149, § 29 requirement of providing notice by certified mail is “to facilitate proof of delivery of notice. If actual timely notice is proved…failure to comply with a registered or certified mail requirement is not a fatal deviation from statutory procedures.”).

G.L. c. 149, § 29’s “written notice requirement constitutes a ‘condition precedent’ under Massachusetts law—i.e., an event that must occur before the principal or its surety is obligated to perform.” Id. If a claimant fails to provide notice within the necessary time period, then the claim is considered waived. Id.