Mechanics liens are used to protect construction professionals’ right to payment; however, losing your lien right can happen at the drop of a hat if you’re not careful.
In Part 1 of this five-part article, our Orlando construction lawyers provided a brief history of the mechanics lien. In Part 2, we discussed how your mechanics lien enables you to leverage the situation and secure the payment you are owed. Today, we will cover the preliminary notice, the 90-day deadline, and where the lien is recorded.
This is a critical step that must be performed at the very start of furnishing labor or materials; if you did not do this, you have probably already lost your mechanics lien rights in Florida. If you did not contract directly with the owner, you should have served a Notice to Owner within 45 days of providing labor and/or materials.
There are some exceptions (such as for architects, engineers, and pure individual laborers) and numerous other rules and regulations. It is best to consult with an Orlando construction lawyer on the specifics.
Important 90-Day Timeframe
Lien law varies from state to state, and knowing what pertains to your area is key. In Florida, claimants must record their mechanics lien within 90 days from their own last date of furnishing labor (as opposed to the date that the entire project is completed). For equipment rental companies, this date is the last day your equipment was on site.
When the substantive portion of your work is finished, the 90-day clock begins to tick. Be aware that warranty work and the correction of deficiencies are both excluded from this countdown.
Where Are You Recording the Lien?
Though meeting your deadlines is imperative, recording your mechanics lien is just as much a question of “where” as “when.” Most Florida counties maintain their records with the Clerk of Court for their county; however, a few have a designated “County Recorder” to whom the property records function is delegated.
Need an Expert in Your Corner?
Our attorneys have over 100 years of collective construction law experience and our firm offers fixed pricing for the preparation of all lien and bond documents, including:
- Notice to Owner
- Claim of Lien
- Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit
- Notice of Contest of Lien
- Notice to Contractor
- Notice of Non-Payment
- Miller Act Notice
- Request for Sworn Statement of Account
- Partial and final release of lien
- Partial and final payment applications
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.