Frequently Asked Questions - Florida Mechanics Lien
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The amount of construction happening all over Florida makes it the hottest market for builders in the country. Florida also has some great protections to make sure that those doing the work to build those projects get paid.
LienItNow.com's platform helps contractors get paid on every project every time. We provide online construction lien forms, notice to owner and lien related documents specific to Florida to help contractors, sub-contractors, and suppliers secure the payment they need.
Florida construction lien law, Chapter 713 provides the mechanism to get paid for work performed on a construction project, and LienItNow provides the process by which a notice to owner or construction lien is filed.
In three simple steps, complete your Florida construction lien on your own time in only 10 quick minutes. Once a time-consuming process for construction companies, LienItNow.com makes filing a claim faster and easier than ever. LienItNow.com can also help you create bond claims, notice to owner (NTO) and lien releases.
In Florida, liens filed on private property or on funds relating to a public project are known as Construction Liens, and are created by Florida statutes. When a Florida Construction Lien is filed with regard to work performed on privately owned property, it attaches to and encumbers the fee simple ownership of property. Liens in Florida are one of the most effective ways of getting paid on a construction project for labor services or materials provided to improve property. Florida law provides the right to ensure that if labor or materials are provided to improve real property, that the person or company that provided them will be paid the value of the labor or materials; if payment is not made, Florida's construction lien law specifically gives the right to make a claim on the improved property, via the construction lien process.
Florida's construction lien law is intended to benefit those who provided work, labor or materials on a construction project. With that in mind, Florida's lien law generally allows contractors, as well as subcontractors, laborers, certain design professionals, sub-subcontractors and material suppliers to file a Florida mechanics lien. Note, however, that the right to file a lien does not extend to everyone. For instance, if a company supplies material to a material supplier, they are not eligible to file a Florida construction lien claim. Only those who have a direct contract with the owner can file a Florida mechanics lien if the total price for the improvement is $2,500.00 or less, and in many cases, if a notice to owner has not been served in time, during the course of construction, it may not be possible to file a valid lien claim in Florida.
Depending on the claimant's status, a Florida pre-lien notice may be required. In Florida, prelien notices are known as a Notice to Owner (NTO). Subcontractors and sub-subcontractors, including materialmen and suppliers who do not have a contract with the owner, unlike a general contractor, are required to provide a Notice to Owner within the earliest of the following periods: within 45 days of commencing work or providing services for the Project or before the date of the owner's final payment to the contractor who furnished an affidavit stating that all potential lien claimants have been paid. As a matter of course, most contractors and subcontractors served a Notice to Owner at the beginning of their work, to ensure that they have maximized their lien rights. Some even record a notice, though that is not generally necessary. LienItNow recommends that anyone performing work or providing materials to a project send a Notice to Owner at the beginning of the job to make sure they protect their rights in the event of a dispute down the road. This is true whether or not a notice of commencement is provided by the property owner.
Florida's lien laws, while intended to benefit those who work on a project, are strict when it comes to compliance. The failure to meet filing requirements, such as timing or the location of the filing of the lien, could mean that the lien claimant will not be able to make a claim against the property on which they worked. With that in mind, be sure to file the lien claim within the time frame required by Florida's construction lien law, which states that a Florida claim of lien must be filed within 90 days of the last work performed on the project.
Written contracts are always recommended when performing construction work in Florida. Contracts spell out your rights, and provide important information like prices, timing, and quantities. In short, contracts are a guide that help avoid disputes. On residential construction, written contracts may be mandatory, and you may be required to have certain terms, conditions and warnings to the owner spelled out in them. However, Florida does not require written contracts in order to file a lien claim. Oral contracts are sufficient if you have sufficient documentation to show the existence of an agreement or that you performed the work for which you are filing a Florida construction lien.
Think of a construction lien as a type of mortgage. A house can't be sold unless the mortgage is paid off. The same is true of a construction lien. When a lien is placed on a property, it is saying that someone has a claim on the land, and that the claim must be resolved or paid before the property can be sold. On a private project, the Florida mechanics' lien places an encumbrance on the property that makes it difficult to resell or re-finance the property without first removing the Florida mechanics lien. In fact, if the owner does not take steps to resolve the lien quickly, the person who filed the lien can move to foreclose on the property to recoup the money owed.
LienItNow.com prepares and serves Florida Stop Notices. A Stop Notice is a notification that has the ability to enhance the effectiveness of a mechanic's lien. A Stop Notice, or a notice to withhold funds, is sent to the company that is financing or funding the construction funds for a project. Once that company receives the Stop Notice, that company has notice that it should withhold sufficient money to satisfy the stop notice claim. The purpose of the Stop Notice is to provide the lender, financiers or funders of the construction project notice that there is money owed to a contractor, subcontractor or supplier so that an inquiry can be made as to why that money is not being paid. Note that while there is no legislation in Florida to enforce a stop notice, it can be effective in giving notice to a lender or owner that money is owed for work performed.
LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves Florida Amendments to mechanics' lien Claims. Amendments to a mechanics' lien claim are often needed when something about the claim changes. Common changes to a lien claim are increases or reductions in the amount due to the lienor, or a change to the last date of work.
LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves Florida Discharges of mechanics' lien Claims. Once the lienor has been paid the amount contained in its lien claim, or has come to an agreement that requires the lien claim to be removed from the property records, a Discharge of mechanics' lien Claim should be filed.
LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves extensions of mechanics' lien Claims. All lien claims expire after a certain period of time, and filing an extension of the mechanics' lien claim prolongs the expiration date. Florida law, however, does not permit an extension of mechanics' lien claims.