As part of the construction lien process, contractors are required to notify the property owner of their intent to place a lien on the property. At any point, the owner may request in writing for the contractor to provide a sworn statement of account.
Per Florida Statutes 713.16, the sworn statement of account is a written statement that documents the nature of the labor or services performed or to be performed, materials supplied or to be supplied, current amount paid on the account, amount due and amount to become due as stated by the lienor.
If you are a contractor and have been served a demand for a sworn statement of account, it is highly advised to seek the legal expertise of a knowledgeable and competent construction lawyer in Bradenton, FL.
Florida Statutes 713.16 Requirements:
Demands for a sworn statement of account must be served at the address of the lienor in writing and must be made to the attention of the person who is designated to receive the demand as indicated in the Notice to Owner. The written demand must also include a description of the property and the names of the owner, contractor and lienor’s customer. If the demand is not sent to the lienor or addressed to the appropriate individuals, a refusal or failure to provide the requested documents does not deprive the contractor of their lien.
However, if the owner abides by the requirements of Florida Statutes 713.16, the contractor must provide the requested documents within 30 days of the demand. A refusal or failure to furnish the statement or a furnishing of false or willfully exaggerated statement may deprive the contractor of their lien. Because a failure to provide the statement of account within the provided time period can deprive a contractor from their lien, it is important to consult with a Bradenton construction lawyer as soon as the demand from the owner is received.
If the owner has previously demanded a statement of account and no information has changed since the furnishing of such documents, the failure or refusal to supply the requested information does not deprive the contractor of their lien.
False or Inaccurate Information
A contractor who willfully or negligently includes or omits any information from the sworn statement of account deprives themselves of their lien if the owner can demonstrate an injustice from the omission or inclusion of such information.
For any claim of lien that is being enforced through a foreclosure case that was filed before the date of the demand for statement of account is received by the contractor, the failure or refusal to supply the owner with such statement has no bearing on the enforcement of the lien.
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.