Now more than ever, roofing contractors are being forced to take a good look at their cash flow and determine how they can optimize it to maintain or even grow their roofing business during times of uncertainty. In their investigation, a number of contractors have identified payment issues, such as non-payment and delayed payment, as the source of disputes and cash flow problems on their projects. In this article, we’ll review a variety of options roofing contractors can utilize to secure payment on their projects. For an aggressive roofing lawyer who will look out for your best interest and provide you with strategic representation throughout the legal process, contact Cotney Construction Law.
Send a Demand Letter
One of your most valuable tools in the roofing industry is the demand letter — a strongly worded notice to the owner that you are serious about receiving payment. Often, the demand letter will serve as a warning for the litigation to come next in the event that the owner continues to refuse to provide payment. Demand letters are incredibly useful in instances of slow payment as it escalates communication far more than simply continuously sending emails or making phone calls. They also serve as a sign of good faith in case your claim does end up with a court case down the line.
However, it’s not enough to simply send a demand letter. The demand letter must be professional, polite, and specific in its demands. Don’t hesitate to bring up your right to leverage your mechanic’s lien rights against the owner or reference your state’s payment laws. It would also be wise to set a timeframe in which the owner will provide payment. If you don’t receive payment by that date, then you’ll have to proceed with other forms of securing payment.
Related: The Value of the Demand Letter
File a Mechanics Lien
The last thing any roofing contractor wants to do is file a mechanics lien. Some worry it will negatively affect their roofing business, while others fail to file out of concerns that the process of filing a mechanics lien will be too much of a hassle with little to no return. In this section of the article, we’ll aim to disprove both of those claims. Not only are mechanics liens a powerful legal tool for any roofing contractor looking to receive payment for construction work performed or materials provided, but, with the right roofing lawyer, filing a lien doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
In the State of Florida, for example, prime contractors must file their lien within 90 days from the day they last provided materials or performed labor on their construction project. You have 15 days following the lien to provide a copy of the lien on the owner and one year to enforce the lien, provided that the owner doesn’t file a notice of contest of lien and you don’t receive a 20-day notice to show cause. Common reasons lien claims get rejected are lack of supporting documentation, lack of lien rights, and insufficient descriptions of labor performed or materials provided. Be sure to review the relevant lien statute for your state prior to filing and partner with a roofing lawyer who will provide you with solid legal counsel.
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.