A construction lien is a legal claim that is made against a property by a contractor, subcontractor, materials supplier, engineer, architect or other lienor who has not been fully compensated for the construction improvements, labor, as well as any supplies or materials purchased for use on the property. If the debt owed is left unpaid, the lienor is given the right to place a lien on the property until full payment is received.
Lien laws are very strict. You might not be aware of this, but the court considers a mechanic’s lien law to be a privilege, not a right. You can receive benefits from the lien, but only if you stick to the state’s law requirements. If you miss a deadline by just one day, you’ve lost the rights to it. There is no arguing, exceptions or excuses with mechanic lien laws.
If all the rules are followed carefully, you can receive a lien for all of the unpaid labor, material and equipment supplied. You cannot, however, receive a lien for any Sarasota construction attorney’s fees or the claim. Those can be recoverable costs later on, if you win in court.
If you decide to file for a mechanic lien, it’s best to consult with and hire a construction attorney in Sarasota that is experienced in lien law.
Do You Qualify for Lien Rights?
In Florida, contractors, subcontractors, and supplier all qualify for lien rights. To have these rights, by Florida law you need to have a license. If a contractor is not licensed, they are unable to receive the lien rights, however the subcontractors and suppliers would not be affected. Those in Florida who don’t not qualify for lien rights would be the suppliers to the suppliers, the sub-sub-subcontractors or the suppliers to the sub-sub-subcontractors.
What Property is Lienable?
Only private property can be liened. County, state, federal and municipal properties are not subjected to liens.
A Claim of Lien needs to be sent in within ninety days from the date that the lienor last furnished labor or materials for the project. When filing for a lien, you need to send a copy of the Notice to Owner/Contractor either via certified mail, overnight delivery or in person within fifteen days.
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.