Requirements for Construction Liens
Notice to Owner
Florida law requires that a “Notice to Owner” be given to inform a property owner that potential lienors who do not have a contract with the property owner may make a claim against the owner to secure their unpaid debt. This notice is to protect the owner, who may then impound money which may have been paid to a contractor. The Notice to Owner is mandatory for any lienor who does not deal with the property owner in order to have a construction lien.
The Notice to Onwer must be served within forty five (45) days from when the lienor commences furnishing the materials and services at the site. The failure to timely serve the Notice to Owner is a complete bar to a lien where the lienor is not a laborer and does not have a contract with the property owner.
Preparing and Recording Claim of Construction Lien
In Florida the claim of lien paper must be recorded in the public records in order to give notice to all potential purchasers of real estate that there is a lien. The claim is filed through the Clerk of Court. In Florida, the claim of lien may only be prepared by the lienor himself or the lienor’s attorney or employee. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the preparation of a claim of lien is the practice of law and is not to be performed by a non-lawyer.
The claim of lien must be recorded within the termination of the prime contract or 90 days from the final furnishing of labor, services, or materials by the lienor at the site, which ever is earlier.
Serving the Claim of Construction Lien on the Owner
Other Types of Liens
While construction liens are the more frequently used liens for collections related to improvements to real property, Florida Law provides for other types of liens for specific types of debts including:
- Liens for Labor on and with Machines
- Liens for Labor or Services on Personal Property
- Liens for Labor in Raising Crops
- Molder’s Liens
- Liens for Labor on or for Vessels
- Liens for Furnishing Materials for Cessels
- Liens for Care and Maintenance of Animals
- Liens for Furnishing Pest Control
- Landlord’s Lien for Rent
- Liens for Recovering, Towing, or Storing Vehicles or Vessels
- And others…
Todd C. Passman, P.A. handles collection matters in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee, Florida, and surrounding areas. If you have a counterparty who wrongfully refuses to pay, we may be able to help you.