Florida’s Construction Lien Law found within Chapter 713 of the Florida Statutes was developed to protect contractors and property owners during permanent improvements made to privately owned real estate. However, who is covered by Florida’s Construction Lien Law, what services are lienable, and the state’s definition of “permanent” improvements are often misunderstood. To exercise lien rights, contractors, sub-contractors, and material providers must understand how this law works, so our Lakeland construction lien lawyers have provided some of the basics.
Who is Covered by Florida’s Construction Lien Law?
During construction, there may be dozens of different sub-contractors and material providers working under the general contractor, who is responsible for dispersing payments. Florida’s Construction Lien Law was designed to ensure professionals not in direct contact with the owner receive payments for their services. There are, however, limitations to who is covered by lien law. Contractors, sub-contractos, sub-sub-contractors, and material providers are eligible to file a lien for non-payment. The law does not cover sub-sub-sub-contractors, material providers to sub-contractors, or material providers who sell in bulk. To hold lien rights, the services must be explicitly relevant to the individual property, where “permanent” improvements are made. Additionally, unlicensed contractors are not covered by Florida’s Construction Lien Law.
It is also important to note that if changes are made to the scope of work, they should be added with a change order to the contract or the work may not be lienable. To guarantee your services are covered by lien law, it is always best practice to consult with a Lakeland construction lien lawyer to determine if your business is protected.
What Type of Work is Lienable?
Florida’s Construction Lien Law only covers permanent improvements made to privately held real estate. The terms “permanent” and “improvements” are very important to understand. Improvements are considered to be construction, placement, repair, demolition, removal of or alteration over, beneath, upon or connected with real property. The second term to understand is permanent. The services or materials provided must permanently improve the property. For example, lawn care, such as mowing the lawn, watering the grass, or trimming the shrubbery, is not considered a lienable service. In contrast, if you provide landscaping services, such as installing a walkway or irrigation system, these services are commonly covered.
Other services that are not lienable are the installation of personal property, such as refrigerators, washer and dryers, ovens, etc. The services must also total more than $2,500 to be covered by lien law. As previously mentioned, speaking with a construction lien attorney in Lakeland is imperative to clarify areas of the lien law that can be easily misinterpreted.
Why you Need an Experienced Construction Lien Lawyer in Lakeland
The complications with lien law result from a multitude of moving parts involved in the process, along with requirements set forth by the Florida legislation that must be followed precisely as they are found within the Florida Statutes.The process can be extremely time consuming, and while receiving payment is important, so is running your business. If your time is spent drafting lien documents and keeping track of mandated timelines for recording and serving documents, time that could be spent expanding your business and generating more revenue could be lost. This is why hiring a construction lien lawyer in Lakeland is imperative to the present and future operations of your business. Let a knowledgeable team of attorneys take care of the details, so you can focus on the success of your business.
To speak with a qualified Lakeland construction lien lawyer, please contact our office 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.