This blog is part 2 of our two-part series: 5 Facts About Construction Liens in Florida. Continue reading to understand what is needed to comply with construction lien laws in the state of Florida. Click here to read part 1:
4) Falsifying a Florida Lien Claim Could Cost You Jail Time
When filing a construction lien in Florida, it is important that all information associated with the lien is filed accurately and honestly. Exaggerating the claim on a construction lien is a 3rd degree felony in the state of Florida. Felonies are serious charges which can result in a prison sentence in some cases. Even without conviction, you may still face fines, legal fees, and other consequences if you don’t file your construction lien claim accurately.
Florida law does not permit construction liens to include charges that are not approved. Examples of unapproved charges include unauthorized work orders, unperformed work, or similar claims for damages. Taking care to avoid mistakes is essential when filing claims as it may be difficult to differentiate between accidental mistakes and willful exaggeration or fraud. Lien claimants in the state of Florida should not add costs, lien-related fees, interest, or attorney fees to construction liens. Florida construction lien laws only permit claimants to include the actual permanently improved value of the property.
5) Construction Liens in Florida Have Deadlines
Florida construction liens are only valid for a specific period of time. Filing liens accurately and in a timely manner is critical to securing their value. Generally, a Florida construction lien foreclosure is due within one year from the date the lien is recorded. After this period, the lien expires, unless a lawsuit has been filed to foreclose the property and the lien. Under certain exceptions, the one year timeframe for the lien may be shortened by the property owner to 60 or 20 days from the date of recording. These exceptions include:
- When a property owner gives a notice of contest of lien, the foreclosure period may be reduced to 60 days.
- If the owner or party of interest files a lawsuit or complaint, the county clerk may issue a summons which can reduce the foreclosure period to 20 days.
Other Helpful Information to Know About Florida Construction Liens:
- Florida law requires all construction liens to be notarized in order to be valid.
- Florida construction liens do not require a legal property description, but they should include a basic description of the property for identification purposes.
- In the event of payment, a construction lien may be cancelled by the lienor through a release of lien form or a waiver.
If you are considering filing a construction lien lawsuit, a Florida construction attorney may be able to help. 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 on how we can assist you, contact us today at (407) 537-0543.