When working with a construction’s liens, knowing what laws and rules apply to your situation can make a big difference in securing a successful outcome. There are several state-issued guidelines that govern the notice, handling, and qualifications for construction liens. These five tips will help you understand what is needed to comply with construction lien laws in the state of Florida.
- Notice to the Owner is Mandatory
It is important to give notice to the owner after initially providing labor or materials. If this is not done, you may risk losing your construction’s liens rights. Any parties who do no contract directly with the property owner must serve a notice to owner with 45 days of providing labor and or materials to the project. The two exceptions to this rule are:
- Individual workers who do not require a notice to owner
- Engineers or other design professionals
Direct contractors may provide the property owner with a list of subcontractors and suppliers that are involved with the project. The contractor is required to provide this information within 10 days. The following rules apply to issuing the notice:
- If hired by a general contractor, the notice should be sent to the property owner
- If the work is hired by a subcontractor, the notice should be sent to the property owner and the general contractor.
- If hired by a sub-contractor, the notice should be sent to the property owner, general contractor, and the sub-contractor.
- If you are unaware of the specific parties, Florida law will allow you to reply on specifically publicly available information.
- When sending the notice to the owner, it must be sent via certified mail with a return receipt requested.
- A Construction’s Lien Must be Filed Within 90 Days of Last Labor
In the state of Florida, construction’s liens must be recorded within 90 days of the last labor completed or materials provided. The three-month period begins when the majority of the work is complete, and corrections to work or warranty work cannot be used towards establishing the deadline. For rental equipment companies, the last date of use is the last date that the equipment was on site and available to the designated parties.
3) You Must Qualify for Lien Rights in the State of Florida
Lien rights are not automatically granted to all citizens in the state of Florida. Generally, the state grants lien rights to contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, rental equipment companies, manual laborers, and other professionals. You are not required to have a written contract for a construction’s lien. The contract may be oral, written, or implied.
Those who do not qualify for construction liens in Florida include:
- Sub sub-contractors
- Suppliers who supply to other suppliers
- Suppliers to sub sub-contractors
- Laborers who do not meet license requirements in the state of Florida
- Maintenance workers
The Boutty Law firm is a Winter Park law firm that helps clients with construction liens, as well as commercial and real estate law. For more information, contact us today at (407) 537-0543.