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Mechanic’s Lien Law in Florida

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What is a Mechanic’s Lien?

A Mechanic’s Lien is a form a security interest that is obtained by an individual who provides services, materials and labor as a way to add value to personal or real property. The individual who labored on the property can seek an interest against the property in the form of a lien. This claim is appropriate when payment for labor or materials are not furnished by the property owner. Once a court grants a Mechanic’s Lien, the property is encumbered by the lien until payment is made by the property owner. In other words, unless payment is made, the laborer possesses a form of an ownership right to the property. Nonpayment by the owner can permit the laborer to maintain possession of the property.

When Would I Need a Mechanic’s Lien?

A classic scenario where the use of a mechanic’s lien is warranted is in the case of nonpayment for a real estate construction job. In this example, a contractor has completed work on a property, but the property owner refuses to make payment for one reason or another. It is important to note that a mechanic’s lien is even more appropriate when the property was built to all standards and specifications and there exists no contractual dispute. On occasion, payment is withheld by property owners due to some kind of contractual dispute surrounding job quality or warranty. Therefore, for a contractor to make the best case for a mechanic’s lien, they ought to provide services as agreed upon in the construction contract. A mechanic’s lien is also useful when the individual responsible for payment skipped town or is not reachable. In this case, the property owner cannot transfer or sell the property without first settling the lien issue.

How Do I File a Mechanic’s Lien in Florida?

To file a mechanic’s lien in Florida, you must identify the person who is responsible to make payment. This responsible party is usually the property owner. After you make that identification, you must send notice to the owner. The notice establishes ownership of a security interest against the property. After notice is made, the laborer must prepare a Claim of Lien and record it with the proper recording office within 90 days of the final delivery of the services in question. Ensuring that the Claim of Lien is recorded within 90 days is a crucial piece of the process. Failing to record within the allotted timeframe can void the lien. After the Claim of Lien is recorded, Florida law requires the person seeking the lien to serve the Claim of Lien on the responsible party within 15 days of recording the lien. This entire process can get complicated because of the strict calendar deadlines. Hiring an experienced construction law attorney to guide you through the process is a wise decision.

Do You Need Help Filing a Mechanic’s Lien?  

If you have experienced non-payment for work completed on a construction project, a mechanic’s lien may be the right tool for you. Attorney Brendan A. Sweeney is an experienced construction law attorney and he is ready to help you get the money that is due to you. Involving an attorney in your construction dispute is a wise decision and raises the likelihood that you will prevail in court. Contact us now for a consultation.

Resources:

law.cornell.edu/wex/mechanics_lien

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0713/Sections/0713.08.html

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