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FILE A CONSTRUCTION LIEN

While Builders Notice is not a law firm and does not give legal advice, we do perform extensive property research services and refer any request for claim evaluation or claim of lien to our forwarding attorneys who are ready to help protect your rights. The client/attorney relationship will remain exclusively between you and the law firm. Only the lienor, the lienor's employee, or legal counsel may prepare a claim of lien.

Timing - The following diagram depicts the critical time frames involved in Construction Liens.

CONSTRUCTION LIEN TIMELINE

First day materials are supplied or services are
performed by you.

START DATE
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45 DAYS

To send Notice to Owner (from day 1)

Last date of delivery of materials,
or furnishing of work by you.

JOB ENDS
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90 DAYS

To file lien (from last day of job)

You have one year to enforce lien by suit. Unless Notice of Contest of Lien or 20 day summons to show cause.

FROM DATE LIEN FILED
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1 YEAR

To enforce claim of lien (from file date)

For more information about the full details on each milestone in the diagram above you may click here.

Construction Law Firms to whom we may forward your claim:

Larry Leiby, ESQ.
10312 NW 5th St.
Plantation, Florida. 33323

Stearns, Roberts, & Guttentag, LLC.
805. East Hillsboro Blvd.
Deerfield Beach, Florida. 33341
www.florida-construction-lawyers.com

Malka & Kravitz, P.A.,
1300 Sawgrass Corporate Pkwy,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33323
www.mkpalaw.com

 

The following information has been furnished by our counsel:

What Is A Claim of Lien?

A claim of lien is a verified document that is recorded in the public records among other documents of title (e.g deeds, mortgages) to give notice to the world of the lienor's claim against the property for the amount unpaid in improving the property. The claim of lien must be recorded not later than 90 days from the last performance of work or delivery of materials under the contract at the site, excluding warranty work. Note that 90 days is not exactly three months. A copy must be served upon the owner within 15 days of recording. Failure to serve the copy is a defense only to the extent that the owner can show harm resulting from failure to timely serve the copy.

How Long Does This Lien Last?

The lien will remain effective against the property for a period of one year. There is only one way to extend that time. The lienor must file suit to enforce or foreclose the lien within the time that it is effective to keep it alive in excess of one year. A lienor cannot just file a renewal or extension of lien.

There are two ways to shorten the one year period, aside from voluntary release. If the notice of contest of lien is recorded, the lien's effective time is shortened to 60 days from the date the clerk serves a notice of contest of lien on the lienor.

The second shortening device is a summons to show cause filed by any interested party. When a lienor receives such a summons, he must, generally, file a counterclaim within 20 days of service of the summons or the court will enter an order discharging the lien.

A transfer of the lien to bond or cash deposit does not affect the duration of the lien.

How Is the Lien Enforced?

The lien is enforced by a suit usually asking that a judgment be entered recognizing the lien and selling the interest in the property of the owner to pay you. The owner's interest in the property may then be sold at judicial sale subject to prior liens and mortgages, but free and clear of inferior liens and mortgages if the inferior parties are joined in the suit. If you are successful in any amount in excess of what was offered to your prior trial, you should recover your attorney's fees. If you do not have your lien recognized due, a failure to prove your case (e.g. bad notice, untimely lien, improper work in excess of your claim), and you do not otherwise obtain a judgment against the owner, then you will have to pay your opponent's attorney fees.

The following is a quick reference for complying with the Florida Construction Lien Law. You may want to retain it as a guide. It is not a substitute for specific legal advice.

Who Can Lien?

The following have lien rights for labor, services or materials furnished in improving the real property.

  1. Laborer - a person furnishing his/her own labor only
  2. Materialman - a person furnishing materials or rental equipment only, with no labor for installation of materials. This person must be selling to an owner, contractor, sub contractor, or sub-subcontractor. A person furnishing materials does not fall within the definition if the person is selling to another materialman or to a sub-sub-subcontractor. The materials must be delivered to the site or sold for direct delivery to the site (as distinguished from being sold for inventory without a particular job in mind)
  3. Contractor - a person who furnishes more that one individual's labor and/or more than just materials who contracts with an Owner.
  4. Subcontractor - a person who furnishes more than one individual's labor and/or more than just materials who contracts with a Contractor.
  5. Sub-subcontractor - a person who furnishes more than one individual's labor and/or more than one individual's labor and/or more than just materials who contracts with a subcontractor.
  6. Professional Lienors - Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors, Interior designers, and Mappers.

What is Lienable?

The interest in property of the owner who contracts for the improvement is lienable. Usually, the landlord's interest is not lienable in a leasehold situation unless the landlord has contracted for the improvements. There are limited exceptions.