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When should a mechanics lien be used in the construction process?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2021 | Construction Law |

Contractors and subcontractors in Florida rely on their customers to promptly pay them for their work. If contractors and suppliers do not get paid on a construction project in Florida, they can file a lien to secure payment. A mechanics lien is a tool that provides unpaid parties a security interest in the property.

Contractors

Preliminary notice-general contractors do not need to provide a preliminary notice to retain lien rights. But they must provide a list of subcontractors and suppliers to the owners within 10 days. Mechanics lien deadline-the deadline to file a mechanics lien is 90 days from the last furnishing of labor or materials to the project. Lien enforcement deadline-an action to enforce a mechanics lien is generally within one year of the lien being filed.

Subcontractors

Preliminary notice-subcontractors must provide a Notice to Owner (NTO) by the earlier of 45 days after first providing service, 45 days from when the work begins on making specialty materials or before owner’s final payment to contractor. Mechanics lien deadline-the deadline to file a mechanics lien is 90 days from last furnishing or labor or materials. Lien enforcement deadline-one year, same as contractors.

Suppliers

Preliminary notice-suppliers must provide a NTO by the earlier of 45 days after first providing service, 45 days from when the work begins on making specialty materials or before owner’s final payment to contractor. Mechanics lien deadline- the deadline to file a mechanics lien is 90 days from last furnishing or labor or materials. Lien enforcement deadline-one year, same as contractors and subcontractors.

Contractors, subcontractors and suppliers who are not receiving prompt payment from the property owner should contact an attorney who specializes in mechanics liens. An attorney can guide their client through the lien process and make sure they receive the compensation they are owed.

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Dana Watts is a board certified civil trial lawyer by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization with more than 30 years of litigation experience. He also received an AV* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell.

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