Where the law gets very specific is the timelines in which documents and notices should be delivered to remain valid. There are a few requests that can be made during the construction process that relate to lien laws. Why do you want to foreclose a construction lien?
In some instances, a property owner may contract with a contractor for improvements while overseeing and or supervising other work on his or her property. Determining whether one is a contractor or something else under the lien law is an important first step in determining the statutory prerequisites a party may need to fulfill before enforcing a lien. Florida’s construction lien law is intended to benefit those who provided work, labor or materials on a construction project. Florida’s lien laws, while intended to benefit those who work on a project, are strict when it comes to compliance.
Think of a construction lien as a type of mortgage. As part of your preparation you should evaluate the need for effective legal representation to assist you with any questions that arise during any phase of the project. Construction liens are a subset of a larger group of security interests encumbering property that are granted by property owners to those claiming a debt. Of these, construction liens are certainly among the most common. So what’s a subcontractor or supplier to do if some of that money gets lost along the way?
How To File A Construction Claim Of Lien In Florida From Notice To Owner To Recording | Duration 2 Minutes 8 Seconds
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Under common law contract principles, only the parties to a contract can enforce that contract, leaving unpaid third-tier vendors with no recourse against the owner whose property was improved by their efforts. These prior expansions of privity have granted outsiders the right to enforce a contract against the parties to the contract. The legislature recognized a void in the common law and invented a fictitious third-party privity between the owner and the project participants to create the lien law. Moreover, privity under the lien law38 does not simply mean that the parties are on opposite sides of a contract or simply privy to one another’s existence. Conflicts commonly arise in construction law regarding contracts and unpaid work. In addition, a claim of lien must be recorded no later than 90 days after the final furnishing of labor services or materials. There are other considerations depending on the facts. If you furnished labor or materials to a private construction project, the owner may be liable to you for the debt. Also, protect yourself when you pay your contractor. Next, any subcontractors working through the contractor must send you a notice to owner telling you they are working on the home. In most commercial leases, the tenant will need to undertake and make certain improvements to the leased premises.
If a tenant contracts for improvements because the improvements were required by the lease agreement with the landlord, then the lien may extend to the landlord’s property interest. If a tenant contracts for an improvement because the improvement is “the pith of the lease” agreement with the landlord, then any contractor liens arising from the improvement will also extend to the landlord’s property interest. Landlords should under no circumstance execute any permit applications and/or notices of commencement for tenant improvements. In the event that a contractor is not aware of any prohibition of liens, the contractor can serve a written demand for same upon the landlord. Before filing an action to compel the production of records, the party requesting records must provide sufficient written notice.
Many unlicensed contractors or subs think that the risks are low for getting caught, but that may not be the case. The goal of such strict licensure laws is to protect consumers from contractors and subs who perform subpar work and from those who prey on property owners, leaving unfinished job sites with cash in-hand. In enforcing a construction lien against an entire condominium property, the provider of materials or labor can join the unit owners as a class via the condominium association. An “owner” is a person who is the owner of any legal or equitable interest in real property, which interest can be sold by legal process, and who enters into a contract for the improvement of the real property. When the person who contracted for an improvement on real property is not the owner of the improved land, the lien law is generally inapplicable. In sum, an analysis of the viability of validity of a lien begins with an examination of the character of the owner of the property (public versus private) and whether the person who contracted for the subject improvement is an owner in fact. Contractors need to be aware of this distinction.
This notice contains the legal description of the property and the names and addresses of the owner, contractor and surety.
The fraudulent lien defense usually comes up when the owner disputes the completion of work.