Florida Construction Lien Law
In Broward County, the construction of buildings is ranked as the fastest-growing industry. There is expected to be a 42.3% growth in industry jobs between 2014 and 2022. With the rapid growth of the construction industry, there is a strong demand for knowledge of Florida construction lien law.
Many people misunderstand the meaning of a claim of lien. It’s important to understand lien law for several reasons. Before you start to think of how a lien can affect you, read this Florida lien law summary. You can also contact Friedland & Associates to learn more.
What is a Construction Lien?
A construction lien involves improvements made to your home’s property. Typically, construction contractors use it to ensure they receive payment for the materials and services used during the construction process. If a homeowner does not pay for the work, the contractor can file a lien to get the money owed to them. The property could be sold and the money from the sale is then used to pay the contractor.
It’s not easy for a contractor to impose a lien. First, there must be a valid contract between the owner of the property and the construction worker contractor. Secondly, there must be a breach of the contact. In most cases, the breach involves a property owner who does not make a timely payment.
Despite the name, a construction lien can be used by a variety of workmen. Failing to pay plumbing, painting, and carpentry services can result in a construction lien.
How They File
The contractor or serviceman needs to take legal action to file a lien. They do not have a right to the lien; rather, they need to file with the court. In some cases, a contractor waives the right to a lien before they begin work. This means that they are unable to file, regardless of the circumstances.
If the court grants the lien, the owner of the property will need to sell either some or all of their property. The amount they need to sell depends on the amount of debt.
Requirements for a Construction Lien
Every state had unique requirements for construction liens. In Florida, there are a few elements that must be met. For example, there needs to be a default on payment. The property owner must receive some notice that a lien is being requested. Finally, the lien must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Waiting too long means your request will be denied.
Not all properties qualify for construction liens. Only real property can qualify for a lien. Some common examples of real property are buildings, homes, and condominiums. Furthermore, a lien can only be made on the property on which the improvement services were made. A contractor cannot file a lien on a house if the work was done on the owner’s condominium.
It’s important to note that the owner must have agreed to the work in question. If a contractor made changes without obtaining consent, then the contractor cannot file a lien.
How Can a Construction Lien Affect the Property Owner?
A construction lien can have a major impact on a property owner. In the worst-case scenario, it can result in the foreclosure of the property. If there is more than one subcontractor, double payment could occur. Neither scenario is a good one.
Even if the property owner doesn’t experience foreclosure, they could experience a cloud on their title. When they want to sell or refinance their property, they will be met with resistance. Few people are willing to buy or refinance a home with a lien on it.
Working with an Attorney
Whether you are the property owner or the contractor, the outcome of your case is crucial. Liens tend to be complex issues that are difficult to resolve. At times, they involve multiple parties. Resolving the situation can take time and legal expertise.
To better understand your options and how to proceed, you should work with a construction accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who also works with construction liens. They have in-depth knowledge of the lien process. More importantly, they will fight for you.
Friedland & Associates has experience dealing with a variety of construction issues, including lien law. If you’re ready to seek legal representation, contact us today.