Practice Areas

Understanding Lien Rights Between Private and Public Projects

When contractors provide services or materials to be utilized for the improvement of a property and are not compensated, they have the lawful right to file a construction lien on the property to collect the money that is rightfully owed to them. However, when it comes to taking advantage of construction lien law, contractors must understand the difference between private and public construction projects. Whether the project is private or public can have an effect on a number of things, including: (1) contractor selection, (2) contract clauses, (3) what and when claims can be made, (4) contractor remedies, and (5) possible penalties.

If you are considering filing a construction lien or are already in the process of filing one, it is strongly recommended to consult with a Lakeland construction lawyer who is experienced with Florida’s mechanics lien law. In addition to the differences between private and public construction projects, there are many provisions that are required by Florida’s mechanics lien law that contractors must be aware of.

Private Construction Projects

Private construction projects include improvements on properties that are owned by private owners and/or developers. If payment is not received on a private construction project, Florida’s mechanics lien laws allow contractors to file a mechanics lien, also known as a construction lien, materialman’s lien, supplier’s lien (for suppliers), or design professional’s lien (for architects and engineers). This gives the contractor interest in the property where the services and/or materials were provided. Florida’s mechanics lien law requires contractors to file the lien within a specific amount of time. To obtain payment, the contractor is required to foreclose on the lien. Because there are very specific requirements that contractors must meet to file a construction lien, we suggest contacting an experienced Lakeland construction attorney for legal advice.

Public Construction Projects

Public construction projects consist of projects where the services and materials provided are used to make improvements to government owned property. Construction liens typically cannot attach to public construction projects because most states and the federal government prohibit other parties from gaining an interest in publicly owned land. As such, contractors may only recover remedy with the use of a performance or payment bonds. If unpaid on a public construction project, contractors must file a claim against the bond rather than the property.

To schedule a consultation with one of our construction attorneys in Lakeland, FL, please call us today at (813) 579-3278 or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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