Have you recently completed a construction project but have not received payment for the completed work from the project owner? Are you a subcontractor awaiting payment from a contractor who has not paid you although they have received a payment from the property owner? The answer to both problems is a construction lien.
What is a Construction Lien?
Florida construction lien law exists as a remedy for those (lienors) that have completed work or provided materials on a construction project. Under lien law, a contractor, subcontractor, or any other lienor, such as a material supplier, can place a lien on an owner’s property until payment is rendered.
What If the Owner Did Pay the Contractor?
If an owner has paid the contractor yet the contractor withholds payment from their subcontractors or suppliers, they may have no recourse if the owner required them to sign a release of lien form. A release of lien form is an agreement an owner requests lienors to sign which waives the lienor’s right to place a lien against the property. However, this all depends on the type of form signed. Always consult with a Ft. Myers construction lien lawyer before signing any waiver.
What Lienees and Lienors Should Know
Under the Florida Statutes, Chapter 713, lienors can exercise their rights to recover payments owed to them. However, not everyone qualifies for lien rights. Certain forms must be signed, recorded, posted, or served to the proper parties by specific deadlines. Liens must also be contested or enforced within a certain period of time. If you are not aware of these legalities, you could easily lose your right to place a lien against a property.
A Ft. Myers Mechanics Lien Law Attorney is Critical
A construction lien is an effective tool for ensuring that proper payments are made to you. However, you should seek the assistance of a Ft. Myers mechanics lien law attorney to navigate the process. People often forfeit their lien rights by making these types of mistakes:
- Not possessing the proper licensing
- Not serving the Notice to Owner on time
- Not serving notices to the proper parties or by the proper method
- Purposefully exaggerating claim amounts
- Failing to file the Claim of Lien on time or provide a copy to proper parties
- Allowing the Claim of Lien to expire before filing a foreclosure
Not only can these mistakes cause you to miss out on utilizing a construction lien to get paid, some may also leave you facing criminal liability.
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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.