Do you provide labor and materials to construction projects in Florida? If so, it’s important that you understand the basics of the Mechanics Lien Statute under the Florida Lien Law. The following are some key components to understand that will help you to: Preserve, Perfect and Enforce your Florida Mechanics Lien Rights.
Here are five of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Florida Lien Law:
- Do I have to serve a Notice to Owner “aka: Preliminary Notice” in the state of Florida?
While there are certain exceptions, the safest answer is yes. If you fail to deliver a Notice to Owner “aka: Preliminary Notice” at the start of furnishing labor or materials, you stand the chance of losing your Florida Mechanics Lien Rights. If you did not contract directly with the Property Owner, then you must serve a Notice to Owner within 45 days of furnishing labor and/or materials to the project. Your Notice to Owner must contain all of the information required by the statute and must be sent to all the parties as required by statute.
- Who can file a Florida Mechanics Lien?
Florida’s Mechanics Lien Law protects a broad spectrum of workers, including: Prime contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, labors, material suppliers to the owner/contractor/sub/or sub-sub, and professionals (engineers, architects, landscape architects, mappers, surveyors, and interior designers).
- What is the deadline to file a Florida Mechanics Lien?
According to Florida Lien Law, all Lien claimants have up to 90 days after the date they last supplied labor and materials to the construction project to file a Mechanics Lien.
- What should be included in the Mechanics Lien?
The state of Florida has strict requirements regarding what your Mechanics Lien must contain. For a full list, see F.S. § 713.08. Here are a few of the basic requirements you need to be aware of:
- Identification of the hiring party (the person or company who hired you)
- Description of the labor, materials or service furnished to the project
- Legal Property description
- Identification of the Property Owner
- The contract price or full value of the services furnished
- Date of services (first and last dates furnished)
- Final amount due and unpaid to you
It’s important to note that Florida Statute is very specific about what you can claim in your Mechanics Lien. Filing a Mechanics Lien without compliance with the statute is considered “fraudulent” and carries the consequences of a 3rd degree felony. You may not include amounts for unapproved charges, claims and lost profits on unperformed work, just as you may not include costs for attorneys, interest, or Lien fees, unless your signed contract specifically address these issues.
- When is the deadline to enforce a previously filed Florida Mechanics Lien?
In general, a Mechanics Lien must be enforced within 1 year of the date the Lien was first filed; however, in certain cases this time period can be shortened or extended. Once the time period is up, your Mechanics Lien is considered expired unless you file a lawsuit to foreclose about the property and the Lien. This is a very important part of the entire lien law. By filing a mechanics lien you only begin the process of collecting your outstanding accounts receivable. Should you file the mechanics lien then allow the 1 year timeline to elapse without commencing action. Your mechanics lien will become void on the 366th day after it is filed, leaving you without the protection of the lien as a tool to secure your open accounts receivable.
These are just a few key provisions included in Florida’s Mechanics Lien Law. For a more comprehensive understanding of how you can fully protect your Mechanics Lien Rights on Florida construction projects chose a partner like CRM Lien Services to assist you with this process.
CRM Lien Services will thoroughly research and verify all of the information included in your Notice to Owner and Mechanics Lien so your Lien Rights are fully protected. At CRM, we stay current with the changes to the Florida Lien Law so your notices are prepared according to the latest statutes.
Would you like CRM Lien Services to file your NTO? click here.